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Bernard Samuel Klosowski

Bernard Samuel Klosowski

Law Firm Partner
  • Patents, Trademarks, Intellectual Property ...
  • District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, South Carolina, USPTO
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U.S. Naval Academy graduate; Commander, U.S. Navy; U.S. Patent Attorney: Electro-mechanical * Electrical * Software/Computers * Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning * Automotive * Energy Systems * Medical Devices * Optics * other Intellectual Property and Related Business Issues and Litigation

University of Baltimore School of Law
J.D. (1998) | Law
Honors: cum laude
University of Baltimore School of Law Logo
Naval War College
other (1993) | Strategy & Tactices, Executive Decisionmaking
Attended Annapolis, MD satellite site
Honors: 1993 Outstanding Student Nominee
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United States Naval Academy
B.S. (1986) | general engineering
Commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy on May 21, 1986 and ordered to flight training.
Honors: Commandant's List
Activities: Color Guard, Bicycle Club
United States Naval Academy Logo
Professional Experience
Law Firm Partner
- Current
Articles & Publications
Speaking Engagements
AIPF 2018 Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL
Association of Intellectual Property Firms (AIPF)
Moderator/Speaker: Taking the Long View on Patents - A Roundtable Perspective On Navigating Patent Protection
Numerous Speaking Engagements
Registered United States Patent attorney
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Professional Associations
- Current
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South Carolina State Bar  # 69287
- Current
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Carolina Patent Trademark Copyright Law Association
- Current
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American Intellectual Property Law Association
Member of various AIPLA practice groups
- Current
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District of Columbia Bar
- Current
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Maryland State Bar Association
- Current
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
District of Columbia
District of Columbia Bar
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South Carolina
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4th Circuit
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Federal Circuit
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  • Free Consultation
    I am happy to speak with a potential client about a legal question generally, usually 15-20 minutes. But a signed engagement letter and retainer is necessary to establish an attorney-client relationship in order to discuss specific facts and provide advice.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    We encourage use of our Law Pay link to submit credit/debit card information. We do not store personal credit/debit card data, so your information is confidential and secure.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    I am willing to discuss alternative fee arrangements.
Practice Areas
Patent Appeals, Patent Litigation, Patent Prosecution
Trademark Litigation, Trademark Registration
Intellectual Property
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Finance, Business Formation, Business Litigation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Entertainment & Sports Law
Communications & Internet Law
Internet Law, Media & Advertising, Telecommunications Law
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Debt Relief
Additional Practice Areas
  • Computer Technology-Software
  • Copyrights
  • Copyright
  • Trade Secrets
  • Franchise issues; written legal opinions in all practice areas; IPR/PGR proceedi
  • French: Written
  • German: Written
Legal Answers
Q. When I consult with an attorney that specializes in patents, trademarks, etc . Do I need to protect my idea in advance?
A: Not to speak with an IP attorney, and for at least the reasons stated below, most attorneys won't sign a "confidentiality agreement" with a prospective client as it's unnecessary and not required and would be highly unusual.

IP attorneys, like all attorneys, are obligated under professional rules of responsibility and ethics rules to maintain confidentiality, even regarding an initial consultation. See, e.g., South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.18(b) ("Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation...."). The confidentiality rule applies to all matters communicated in confidence by the prospective client.

In other words, there is no need to have a written "confidentiality agreement" to speak with an attorney because attorneys are officers of the court, and as such, have a much different status with very unique legal responsibilities and obligations as compared to potential investors, potential business partners, manufacturers, etc. (for discussions with those groups, the best protection is having a patent application on file and a confidentiality agreement wouldn't hurt, too).

As an aside, to disclose client information, the client or even prospective client must give his/her "informed consent" for the attorney to disclose information provided in confidence - an attorney cannot unilaterally break confidentiality (there are some exceptions if the client is about to commit a criminal act or if it is prevent certain death or bodily harm). Moreover, 99.9% of attorneys take their oath as officers of the court quite seriously, and for the few miscreants who might not, they usually end up disbarred. So, even if there is a "bad apple" out there who doesn't take his oath, roles, and the rules seriously, practically speaking, he isn't likely to risk his law license breaking client confidentiality.

All of this being said, I like to have a preliminary consultation by phone to answer hypothetical questions about the broad nature of the invention and the patent process in general. Then I prefer when possible that a potential client go ahead and engage me as his attorney before our first substantive consultation, even if the engagement letter simply says "engaged for preliminary discussions." That way, we can speak freely about not only invention details but potentially related issues like prior art, licensing, inventorship, perhaps sour business deals related to the invention, possible experimental uses, trademarks, etc. etc. (because an attorney can't/shouldn't/won't provide legal advice to a non-client about specific facts/details). This approach usually saves everyone's time and even if the "client" decides after that first substantive meeting to not use my services, we at least were able to have a fruitful discussion that isn't stilted by me having to interject every few minutes to say something like, "You haven't retained me as your attorney yet so I can't answer that specific question as it involves legal advice, but hypothetically...."

Lastly, although a prototype isn't needed for a patent application nor is a patentability search required under the law, both can be helpful to the patent attorney when drafting the patent application. However, because Obama changed the U.S. patent system to a "first inventor to file" system, time is no longer on the side of U.S. inventors. It's best to file as soon as possible to "win the race to the Patent Office." Delay is dangerous.
... Read More
Q. What sort of IP is need for a project that involves a combination medical device with drug delivery?
A: In the near term, a provisional or utility patent application might be worth considering, keeping in mind that the U.S. is now a "first inventor to file" system (time is not on the inventor's side like it once was). Whether the device, the drug, or a combination of the device and drug is patentable should be discussed with a patent attorney. If it's not patentable, perhaps some of its "secret sauce" can be protected as a trade secret. If there are marketing materials or user manuals, those might be subject to copyright protections.

In the longer term, a trademark for the commercial product might be considered if the inventor also intends on making and selling or licensing the patent pending device. ... Read More
Q. Is Patent number: 4728812 still in effect. as of 01/29/2021 ?
A: No, a "4 million series" patent would be from the 1980s and probably expired years ago. Setting aside continuation applications and other theoretical considerations, U.S. Pat. No. 4728812 likely expired in the early to mid 2000's, assuming that its "maintenance fees" were paid (if not, the patent would not even have lasted its full term and would have expired in the early 1990s).

U.S. patents last 20 years from their filing dates (or from the earliest filing date upon which a patent application makes a claim of priority), which generally amounts to about 17 years of patent life after issuance. However, patents filed before June 8, 1995 lasted the longer of 20 years from filing (with priority claims considered) or 17 years from the date of issuance.

Notwithstanding the foregoing rules of thumb, it wouldn't be wise to assume that a patent is expired based only on its number. Before practicing the claims of someone else's patent without a license, it would be prudent to have a patent attorney formally check the USPTO records.
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Websites & Blogs
Ben Klosowski, Esq.
Carolina Patent Attorney
Contact & Map
Main Office - Thrive IP®
220 N. Main Street
Suite 500
Greenville, SC 29601
Telephone: (864) 351-2468
Fax: (866) 747-2595
Monday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 6 PM (Today)
Friday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
Notice: Appointments are strongly encouraged as we may be traveling to meet clients, attend court hearings, etc. If we are unable to take your call immediately, please leave a message, and we will return your call as promptly as possible.
Low Country Office
5401 Netherby Lane
Suite 1201
North Charleston, SC 29420
Telephone: (843) 580-9057
Fax: (866) 747-2595
Monday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM (Today)
Friday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
Notice: We encourage appointments as we may be serving other clients or traveling to meet their needs.