It was January 2013, and only a couple of months after returning from the Republican National Convention in Tampa. I received a call from my Washington DC patent attorney, Chris Brody, stating my patent application had also been denied by the US Patent & Trademark office. I asked Mr. Brody what options we had based on this first denial. He said we could easily appeal.
As you may remember, we initially filed for a patent in 2010 to attain a basic patent pending status. Within a year’s time, we were under deadline to finalize or transfer the filing to a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application which subsequently gave us the right to file in the US, as well as every foreign country known to man, within the next 18 months. Instead of sticking with the original PCT plan to protect our product overseas, we ultimately chose to file a national stage application for both the product as well as ‘method of use,’ but only in the United States. Though we were already selling in several other countries, we didn’t feel it would be cost effective to put additional moneys into the pockets of foreign countries when we essentially couldn’t keep them from duplicating The SHOWER SHIRT™ either way.
Nevertheless, our national stage application had been rejected. Mr. Brody sent us several patent examples as to why the US Patent & Trademark office rejected the application. Essentially, we went through more than 100 examples of existing patents and differentiated their designs and ‘method of use’ from ours. After a few weeks, we filed our appeal. Within only a few days, Mr. Brody had received a letter to say we were in fact approved for our patent. Huh? After three years of filing the various categories of patent applications which were ultimately denied, within two weeks of filing the official appeal, we were being issued a patent? I will never forget Mr. Brody phoning me after receiving the official patent award notification, but this time to say, “Lisa, this is your lucky day.”
The SHOWER SHIRT is now recognized as US Patent #8,516,613 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the only patented shower shirt garment for mastectomy patients on the United States market. Our patent award was reported on the CNN website, the Miami Herald, and Florida Today. Yes, in fact, “that was my lucky day.”
Florida Today Article on Patent Award: http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130725/HEALTH02/307250024
Lisa F. Crites
Shower Shirt Principal/Inventor
Corporate Healthcare Consultant
Health/Medical Broadcast Journalist