Virtual Marking Help
Virtual Marking Help or Virtual Patent Marking Help

Virtual Marking Help

Public Search Questions

What is Pat.

Pat. and form a VIRTUAL PATENT MARK in accordance with patent marking statute 35 U.S.C. 287. If (1) a U.S. PATENT NUMBER is associated with a PATENTED PRODUCT, (2) the PATENTED PRODUCT is marked with "PAT." followed by "", (3) the associated patent is registered on the website, and (4) is available for public view without charge, the PATENTED PRODUCT complies with statute 35 U.S.C 287. Compliance with the statute provides legal notice that the PRODUCT is patented.

How do I know if the PRODUCT I am enquiry about is registered with

If the PRODUCT and/or PRODUCT packaging is not marked with the mark "Pat." (virtual mark) then the PRODUCT and any patents or patent applications associated with the PRODUCT may not be registered with the website.

How do I search for a PRODUCT marked with the mark "Pat."?

In the Article Search fields enter PRODUCT information. The more information entered the more refined the search results. For example, if only the keyword "blue" is entered then all registered articles that have the keyword blue and are associated with an inforce U.S. patent will be returned in the results.

What information do I enter in the Article Search fields?

Note: Not all article search fields require data entry. However, the more data entered the more specific the search results.

Article Name: Typically this field will contain the model name of the article. Enter up to 20 alpha numeric characters. If only a few characters are entered then all registered articles having those few characters, and are associated with an inforce U.S. patent, will be returned in the results. For example, searching "Ba" will return articles having the name "Ball", "Balloon", and "Bat" if those articles are registered and associated with an inforce U.S. patent.

Article Number: Typically this field will contain a part number. Enter up to 20 alpha numeric characters. If only a few characters are entered then all registered articles having those few characters, and are associated with an inforce U.S. patent, will be returned in the results.

Keyword: Enter a keyword that describes the part, e.g., "round".

Select Location: Select the location (Article, Packaging, or Article and Packaging) where the article or product is physically marked with "PAT.

SKU: Up to 20 alpha numeric characters Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) descriptor. Frequently the SKU is found on the article packaging.

UPC: 15 alpha numeric characters Universal Product Code (UPC) descriptor. Usually the UPC is found on the article packaging.

U.S. Class or CPC Number: Entry of the high level U.S. or CPC classification may facilitate public searching and viewing of patented articles and associated granted patents in compliance with a fuller interpretation of the marking statute. The subject matter of patent applications is classified according to either a U.S. Classification or the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) scheme. U.S. or CPC classification numbers are found on the front page of a published patent application or a granted patent. Refer to to determine the likely U.S. Class or CPC number for a given patented article. For example, if the article in question is a fixed form hammer (subclass 146) then the searcher may determine that patents associated with registered hammer articles will likely fall under the high level three digit U.S. Class number 007. Searching on just the class number 007 will return all patented articles falling within that class.

The product has the "Pat." mark but my search returns "No Result", what does this mean?

A "No Result" in this circumstance can have several interpretations: 1. the product is patented but the subscriber has not associated the product with at least one inforce patent; 2. the product was associated with an inforce patent but that patent has since expired or was abandoned; 3. the subscriber has marked the product but has not yet registered the product with; or 4. there are pending patent applications but the subscriber has not associated any pending patent applications with the product.

Additionally, a "No Result" could result if the searcher is entering incorrect information.

My virtual mark search returned a list of patented articles; does this mean all these patents apply to the article I am reviewing?

Unless all the search fields were utilized for the search it is not likely all the patents apply to the article you are reviewing. Enter more field parameters to narrow the search results. In addition, reviewing the U.S. Class numbers in the search results can help to select the applicable patents.

My virtual mark search returned "Patent Pending" but did not show any numbers, why not?

A "Patent Pending" means that the subscriber has associated the article with one or more patent applications. The patent applications can be a U.S. patent application, a U.S. provisional patent application, or an international patent application typically referred to as a "PCT" application. Patent applications, including filing numbers, are not made public until approximately 18 months after the application’s earliest filing date.

My virtual mark search returned just patent numbers and no "Patent Pending" results; can I assume there are no pending applications for the article I am reviewing?

No. A primary purpose of the website is help its subscribers comply with the 35 U.S.C 287 marking statute. Therefore, if there are inforce patents and patent applications associated with an article only the inforce patent numbers are shown.

Subscriber Questions

Didn’t the America Invents Act eviscerate the patent marking statute?

Yes and no. First, the AIA did away with just anyone bringing a lawsuit for an improperly marked product, e.g., a product marked with an expired patent. Now only the U.S. government or those persons who have suffered a competitive injury as a result of a violation of 35 U.S.C. 292 may file a civil action in a district court of the United States for recovery of damages adequate to compensate for the injury. Second, however, the failure to mark carries serious negative consequences for the patentee. 35 U.S.C. 287 states that in the event of failure to mark a product no damages shall be recovered by the patentee in any action for infringement, except on proof that the infringer was notified of the infringement and continued to infringe thereafter .

What are the advantages of a virtual patent marking subscription?

A virtual marking subscription provides a number of benefits over traditional patent marking. The most significant advantage is that the patent owner can avoid the expense and effort required to update and maintain patent information on its products. Rather than retooling its manufacturing process or changing product packaging every time a patent issues or expires, the patent owner can simply update the patents and/or patent applications associated with the product. This not only ensures potential infringers will have constructive notice of the existing patents, it can also ease concerns over potential false marking claims.

Why shouldn’t I just list my products and patents on the company website?

Keeping track of which patents apply to which products is not a trivial task. Add to that the task of keeping track of which patents are still in force complicates the task further. In addition, the patentee may need to prove that the inforce patent information associated with the virtually marked patented article was readily available to the searching public. Failure to do so may lead to allegations of failure to mark in accordance with the marking statute 35 U.S.C. 287. Furthermore, once you mark a product with your company URL you are stuck with that marking on your product and making sure the website address is always available to the searching public. For example, you could mark your product with publicly accessible URL such as and list your product with the associated patents. However, now you have to ensure (via company resources) that is always available to the searching public and the information is current in order to comply with the marking statutes. Also, overtime, on the order of years, maintaining the publicly accessible URL address becomes increasingly more difficult the longer the URL address (e.g., Of course you can change the mark on future articles to correspond to a new URL address, but then you would have to maintain two publicly accessible URL addresses. So while your company URL may fit the bill today will it still fit the bill 5, 10, or 15 years from now? What if your company merges or is acquired? What if you want to sell the patented assets? The solution to all these questions and problems is the Pat. mark and a subscription.

Why should I subscribe to and not another virtual marking service?

First, the Pat. mark is designed to be a very short mark, 13 characters long, including spaces, and fully complies with the requirements of the marking statute 35 U.S.C. 287. Second, the Pat. mark is also designed to be an innocuous and brand independent mark. In other words, the Pat. mark does not compete with the patented article’s brand. Next, the virtual patent marking website was designed by a practicing patent attorney and is also configuration controlled via a configuration control board chaired by a practicing patent attorney. Also, the virtual marking website is packed with features which include maintenance fee reminders, automatic term calculations, patent expiration warnings, patent abandonment warnings, to name just a few of the features.

Why doesn’t have free subscriptions like some of the other virtual marking services?

In our opinion, free subscriptions are the wrong business model for this type of service that intends to be around for many years to come. Recall that most utility and plant patents have a term life of 20 years from the filing date and design patents have a term life of 14 years if filed before May 13, 2015, and 15 years thereafter. A technology service with too many free subscriptions may not have enough operating capital to sustain the service for the long haul; technology changes rapidly and a technology centric service will need to stay abreast with those changes to remain viable. Moreover, there is really no such thing as "free" in this business, someone is paying for it and that someone would be the paying subscribers. That said, we are offering a 120 day free trial period.

How do I become a subscriber?

Click on the "Subscribe Now!" button and follow the instructions.

Are there multiple subscription plans?

Yes. Subscription plans are based on the number of articles to be registered.

Can I change my plan at any time?

Yes. Billing rates will be adjusted and prorated according to the change and change date.

What is the subscription billing cycle?

The subscription is opened with the first payment and then every quarter thereafter; where a quarter is 91 days from the date the subscription was opened. Subscription accounts may also be prepaid.

How do I pay for my subscription?

Payment may be made via credit card (paypal) or by check, made out to, and mailed to:

K. P. Correll & Associates, LLC

270 Bellevue Ave., #326

Newport, RI 02840

Is there a limit on the number of granted patents or pending applications I can register with

No limit. For each article the subscriber may registered as many patents or patent applications as desired.

What happens if I let my subscription lapse; is all my data erased?

No. However, a public searcher will not be able to find any of your registered articles; thus, your patented articles would not be in full compliance with the marking statutes.

How many users can I have with my subscription?

Unlimited. Each account may have two admin users who manage all other subscriber users.

Do all the users have the same permissions?

Not necessarily. The admin users may assign review, modify, or delete permissions to each user.

Does provide reports?

Yes, three reports are provided. First is the Status Report showing the current status of all the subscriber’s articles, e.g., if the article is virtually marked and therefore in compliance with the marking statutes. The second report is the Audit Trail Report showing before and after changes and the subscriber user who made the change. The third report, an internet address report captures the Internet Address of searchers clicking on reported patents or applications.

If a granted patent or patent application expires or is abandoned is the patent automatically disassociated from an article so that the article is properly marked in accordance with the marking statutes?


Will I receive a warning if a patent or patent application is about to expire?

Yes. After logging in there is a 30-day Yellow Alert window which identifies upcoming patent expirations, required maintenance fees, and other yellow alerts. There is also a Red Alert window which identifies patents that have recently expired, recently abandoned, and other red alerts.