30 Years of Intellectual Property Excellence: Celebrating the Past and Future at Suiter Swantz IP

We proudly announce the 30th Anniversary of Suiter Swantz IP. As we celebrate this significant milestone, we reflect on three decades devoted to protecting our clients’ innovation and look forward to continuing that mission in a quickly changing landscape.

Like most new businesses, our Firm had humble beginnings. Sean Suiter founded the Firm on January 18, 1994, establishing Suiter & Associates pc. Sean founded the Firm as a solo practitioner in his basement, working from an old school desk. The Firm rapidly grew, adding attorneys and staff and moved into its first official office located on Nicholas Street. The Firm quickly outgrew this location and moved to its current location in the FNB Business Park, where we have been located since 2001.

In 2006, the Firm was renamed to Suiter Swantz pc llo. In 2016, Chad Swantz, Scot Ringenberg, and Matthew Poulsen joined Sean as co-owners of the Firm. Today, the Firm boasts a 30-person team of attorneys and staff and ranks as a top 150 patent firm in the country, issuing approximately 400 patents per year and approximately 6000 U.S. patents to date. The Firm represents a wide array of clients ranging from startups to individual inventors to multi-billion-dollar corporations.

Photo of Sean Suiter's Basement (1994)

Here are a few words from Sean Suiter as he reminisces about the founding of the Firm in 1994:

Today, thirty years ago, I was absorbed in writing a battery monitor patent application. I sat behind the teacher's desk from the one-room school my mother attended. The hubris that had guided me behind the desk was gone. The house was new, the gray cinder block basement smelled like new construction. The lighting was warm and incandescent. I remember feeling terrified. Sarah and I had two sons, a two-year-old (Ian) and a two-month-old (Max)—I had enough money for a month, two if I was careful. It was clarifying—like clinging to a rock face or shooting an approach at night to minima. Thank you to all of our early clients (Jack, Steve, George, Helmuth, Lee, Mark, Duane, and Sandeep) that trusted me with your work. Thank you to all those team members from the early years - Chad, Penny, Sue, Melanie - I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you to all of the wonderful attorneys and staff I have had the privilege of working with and continue to work with —you've enriched my life. Thank you, Stephanie and Patrice. Thank you to all my students -you taught me a lot. Finally, thank you to my wife, Sarah! It's been lovely!

Photo of Sean Suiter (2001)

Everyone at Suiter Swantz IP is very excited about our future and looks forward to continuing to provide world-class IP services to our clients for years to come. In preparation for the future, in 2023, the Firm completed renovation and expansion of its current office space located in Omaha. The renovation significantly increased the Firm’s office space to create a collaborative environment for our team and accommodate future growth. More announcements on the team and growth of the Firm are on the horizon in 2024—stay tuned!




Photos: Main entrance, conference room, office space, and lounge area

To celebrate both our 30th anniversary and the future of Suiter Swantz IP, we will be hosting an open house in our newly renovated office space in May 2024 - details to come!

We are grateful for our valued clients, colleagues, staff, friends, and family who have helped make the Firm a success. Thank you for being an important part of our story. Here's to the next chapter at Suiter Swantz IP!

Photo of the Suiter Swantz IP 2023 Holiday Party

ITC ban on some Apple Watch imports temporarily paused

On December 26, 2023, Apple appealed the ban on certain Apple Watches imposed by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Additionally, Apple filed an emergency request for the courts to lift the ban on the import of current Apple watch devices (Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2) that feature the Blood Oxygen functionality, a light-based technology for measuring blood-oxygen levels. The court granted Apple’s request, temporarily pausing the ban until U.S. Customs and Border Protection decides whether the redesigned model no longer infringes on Masimo’s patents.  A decision is expected by mid-January. 

Following the expiration of the 60-day Presidential Review Period on December 25, 2023, with no veto, the ITC upheld the ruling in favor of Masimo, a global medical technology company that had sued Apple in 2021 for patent infringement.

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USPTO Establishes "Pre-Prosecution Pilot"

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has established a pre-application review program to help prospective inventors by providing insight into their potential patent applications.

In the new program, USPTO Examiners will assist first-time patent applicants in determining whether their invention is novel relative to the prior art through access to public patent tool. “This new pilot program is another tool in our toolbox to provide a more welcoming and encouraging innovation ecosystem for independent inventors as they seek to protect and bring to market their ideas.” - Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. 

The USPTO is only accepting candidates until January 31, 2024. If interested, visit the USPTO website to learn more specific details about the Pre-Prosecution Pilot. 

Winter Holiday Patents that Bring Us Comfort and Joy

Step into the time of the season when innovation intertwines with the warmth and traditions of the winter holidays. As we prepare to celebrate the season’s festivities, let’s explore the creative ingenuity behind some of the most beloved holiday staples.

1. Surprise (Advent) Calendars - No. 2,914,871

More commonly known as advent calendars, this surprise calendar has a small gift behind each door, one per day leading up to Christmas day. The gifts are traditionally small toys, chocolates, or a part of a story or Bible verse. Modern advent calendars come in many themes and decorations with various gifts that go along with the theme. Some calendars are premade and can be bought in the store, while others prefer to make their own or use reusable ones and fill them themselves. Either way, it builds the excitement leading to the main event, opening the last gift, and completing the calendar.

patent for Suprise calendars Santa's surprise Christmas calendar aka advent calendar

2. Improvement in Nut-Warmers - No. 148,494

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” is the opening lyric of The Christmas Song, recorded by Nat King Cole in 1946. As open fires aren’t as popular in most modern homes, many people have not been able to experience this festive snack in its intended form. When this confection was popular, this patent, a nut warmer, was designed to keep roasted chestnuts and peanuts warm to be enjoyed all through the night, keeping traditions like tree decorating and carol singing warm and inviting.

patent for nut-warmers

3. Shin-Shaped Menorah - No. D715,513

The menorah is a ceremonious candle holder or candelabrum used throughout the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The candelabrum holds nine candles. The middle candle, called the shamash, lights the other eight candles, one each day that Hanukkah is celebrated. Lighting the candles, singing songs, eating food, giving gelt (money as a gift), and playing the dreidel game are all celebrations of Hanukkah. The pictured candelabrum adorns the Hebrew letter shin ש within its design, which is also featured on the dreidel and symbolizes “to give.” This holiday patent design reminds its participants that this time of year is more important about giving rather than receiving.

4. Illuminated Wreath - No. 1,517,848

Wreaths are a popular decoration for the exterior of people’s homes during the holiday season and are typically made from pine-looking foliage and Christmas-y decorations. However, wreaths have become more popular to display year-round as they are versatile and customizable decorations. Their symbolism stems from Ancient Greece displaying parts of the previous year’s harvest in the hope of a fruitful new year. Additionally, there are advent wreaths that are used by many Christian denominations to symbolize God and the coming of Christ.

5. Tree Top Decoration Mount - No. 11,653,782

For families who celebrate Christmas during the holiday season, it begins to feel a lot like Christmas after the tree is set up in their homes. One may argue that decorating the tree's most important task is adorning the top with an angel, star, or other fitting decoration. As all trees come in different shapes and sizes, as do the toppers, ensuring the topper stays safely on the tree is just as important. This featured holiday patent helps secure the topper to the tree and base to fit snuggly around the mounting piece to make the tree's majesty come to life.

6. Improvement in Sleds - No. 44,727

Besides Christmas cheer, nothing is more magical than a child waking up on a school day to see it has been canceled and a snow day declared. One of the many activities of a great snow day would include sledding down the neighborhood’s largest hill. This holiday patent is an improvement made for children, and this design includes a steering rope and spring-operated break. This model looks very different from the modern plastic sleds used today. No matter the materials the sleds are made of, these snowy vehicles allow for making special snow day memories!

In the heart of the winter holiday season lies a treasure trove of inventive brilliance, transforming traditions into marvels of innovation. These holiday patents weave a tale of creativity intertwined with the spirit of the holidays as they are a testament to the fusion of tradition and modernity, where functionality meets festive charm. As we revel in the magic of the season, let’s not just admire the twinkling lights or the timeless wreaths but also acknowledge the ingenious minds behind these patents, enriching our holiday experiences and leaving an incredible mark on the winter wonderland of celebration.

Please view our new video highlighting the inventions here!

Happy Holidays from Suiter Swantz IP!

USPTO Announces New Regional and Outreach Office Locations

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced plans to establish a new regional office in Atlanta, Georgia, joining current regional offices in San Jose, Detroit, Austin, and Denver. The USPTO will also open a community outreach office in Strafford County, New Hampshire. These new offices will cater to innovators in the Southeast and New England regions, respectively. They aim to support local inventors and entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on those from underrepresented backgrounds. The Atlanta office is set to become operational by December 2025, followed closely by the opening of the New Hampshire office.

To learn more, please visit the USPTO’s website.

USPTO Launches Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently launched the Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program. This program aims to expedite the examination of qualifying semiconductor-related applications with the goal of increasing production, reducing manufacturing costs, and strengthening the semiconductor technology supply chain. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must submit a petition to qualify for the program, and no additional fee is required. The USPTO will accept petitions until December 2, 2024, or until a total of 1,000 applications have been granted special status.

For additional details about the program and its specifications, please visit the USPTO’s website.

Thanksgiving day concept. Top view vertical photo of plate knife fork napkin sunflowers raw vegetables pumpkins pattypan squash and rowan berries on isolated white wooden table background

Innovation at the Thanksgiving Table: Thanksgiving-themed Patents that Redefine Tradition

As the leaves turn and the air grows crisp, our thoughts turn to gatherings around the Thanksgiving table. But did you know that behind the scenes, inventors have been hard at work, creating ingenious devices to enhance our holiday feasts? In this blog, we'll explore some fascinating Thanksgiving-themed patents that have revolutionized how we prepare, serve, and enjoy this cherished holiday.

1. Smart Timer and Thermometer: Cooking Perfection, Every Time

Cooking a Thanksgiving meal requires impeccable timing, and here's where technology steps in. Smart timers and thermometers take the guesswork out of roasting that golden turkey or baking those delectable pies. Some patents integrate wireless connectivity, allowing chefs to monitor temperatures from their smartphones, ensuring that every dish cooks perfectly, leaving no room for culinary mishaps.

patent illustration for wireless remote cooking thermometer system
US Patent #8,240,914 Wireless Remote Cooking Thermometer System

2. Carving Knife: Slicing Precision in Every Cut

One of the most iconic moments of Thanksgiving is the ceremonial carving of the turkey. Enter the innovative carving knife designed for precision and ease. Patents in this category have introduced features like ergonomic handles, self-sharpening blades, and even motorized carving mechanisms. These inventions ensure that every slice is perfect, creating a centerpiece worthy of the holiday.

patent illustration for carving knife
US Patent #2,685,734 - Carving Knife

3. Serving Dishes: Keeping the Feast Warm and Inviting

Innovation extends beyond the stove and oven, with patents focused on serving dishes. These creations employ insulating materials, ensuring hot dishes stay warm and cold dishes remain chilled throughout the feast. Adjustable heat settings and integrated warming elements are just a few of the features that make these serving dishes indispensable tools for a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

patent illustration for slow cooker
US Patent #7,820,947 - Slow Cooker

4. Gravy Boat: Pouring Elegance, One Ladle at a Time

The graceful act of pouring gravy is an essential part of any Thanksgiving meal. Enter the inventive gravy boat, now elevated with thoughtful design elements. Patents in this category introduce drip-free spouts, heat-retaining properties, and even built-in heating mechanisms, ensuring a seamless and elegant gravy-pouring experience, adding a touch of sophistication to the feast.

patent illustration for gravy boat
US Patent #D283,586 - Gravy Boat

5. Leftover Containers: Post-Feast Preservation Perfected

After the feast, the challenge shifts to storing and preserving the leftovers. Specialized containers, guided by patented technology, offer freshness-preserving solutions. These containers efficiently store and reheat Thanksgiving fare, ensuring every leftover meal is as delicious as the day it was perfectly prepared.

patent illustration for food storage container and container system
US Patent #9,352,877 - Food Storage Container and Container System

As we gather with loved ones around the Thanksgiving table, it's essential to take a moment to appreciate the innovators who have transformed this cherished holiday. From precision carving knives to smart timers and thermometers, each patent represents a step forward in culinary excellence. Serving dishes, gravy boats, and leftover containers add convenience and elegance to our celebrations. Together, these Thanksgiving-themed patents ensure that our holiday feasts are not only delicious but also a testament to the power of human creativity and ingenuity. This year, as you savor the season's flavors, take a moment to raise a toast to the inventors who have made it all possible.

Happy Thanksgiving!

USPTO Establishes New Design Patent Bar

On Wednesday, November 16, 2023, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a final rule establishing a separate design patent practitioner bar. Admitted practitioners would be allowed to practice in design patent proceedings only.

Before this rule, sitting for the single patent bar required a technical background, granting those admitted the ability to practice in various patent matters, including utility, design, and plant patents before the USPTO. Those already registered to practice before the USPTO will not be impacted by the change and all Patent Attorneys at Suiter Swantz IP will continue to practice design patent law.

Now, individuals possessing a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree in industrial design, product design, architecture, applied arts, graphic design, fine/studio arts, or art teacher education may qualify to sit for the design patent bar.

The USPTO asserts that these changes aim to enhance participation by broadening admission criteria to accommodate evolving technology and relevant educational developments that qualify individuals to practice before the USPTO. This adjustment responds to the escalating number of design patent applications, with an increased pool of qualified design practitioners being a viable solution to meet the demand.

In response to concerns raised by commenters about training and experience during the USPTO's request for comments in October, the USPTO affirms that the separate bar will incorporate modified scientific and technical requirements. This ensures that practitioners can deliver competent representation to their clients, tailoring experiences to clients' needs, and ultimately expanding opportunities by broadening the market for professional services related to design patents.

Stay tuned to find out when the new design patent bar will be available!

foggy and happy jack-o-lantern

Halloween-Themed Patents: Innovation Meets Spooktacular Fun

Halloween-Themed Patents: Innovation Meets Spooktacular Fun

As the season progresses and the leaves change from green to shades of red, orange, and brown anticipation stirs! Decorations adorn lawns, sweaters are out of storage, and pumpkin spice is all the rage. With the holiday around the corner, we’ll highlight some Halloween-themed patents that impact how we celebrate this spooky night.

Glow stick – U.S. Patent No. D945,032

Safety is a parent’s primary focus on Halloween night (a close second is a sugar rush!) Keeping an eye on a costumed child during daylight is tricky and difficult after dark. Glow sticks shine bright enough to keep the spooky ambiance of trick-or-treating alive while being able to see the holder and the area around them!

patent illustration of glow stick

Bubble, fog, haze and fog-filled bubble machine – U.S. Patent No. 11,192,046

To further keep the spooky ambiance alive, fog machines help set an eerie stage in haunted houses or during movie production. Additionally, if an event needs to be more kid-friendly and not as scary, this model has a bubble blower and can be used during the increasingly popular Trunk-or-Treat events. Everyone loves a dual-purpose invention!

patent illustration of fog and bubble blower machine

Improvement in Machine for Manufacturing Lozenges – U.S. Patent No. 4,634

Now for a patent that pays homage to the real reason for Halloween, Trick-or-Treating! A pharmacist invented one of the first candy-making machines to make medicated candy lozenges. This process has evolved over the years, and over 600 million pounds of Halloween candy is sold annually. Talk about a sugar rush!

patent illustration for lozenge maker

Halloween-themed patents illustrate how inventors and creators have embraced the seasonal spirit by bringing thrills and chills to people of all ages. From fog machines that set an eerie stage to glow sticks that light the way, these patents showcase the inventive spirit that has made Halloween such a fun and memorable holiday. As technologies advance and more ingenious innovations emerge, we look forward to seeing how future Halloweens will be more magical and spookier.

Have a happy and safe Halloween, from our families to yours!

Suiter Swantz IP is a full-service intellectual property law firm providing client-centric patent, trademark, and copyright services. If you need assistance with an intellectual property matter and would like to speak with one of our attorneys, please contact us at info@suiter.com.

nobel prize

Celebrating the 2023 Nobel Prize Winners

Celebrating the 2023 Nobel Prize Winners

The Nobel Prizes stand as some of the world’s most prestigious awards, recognizing outstanding contributions to humanity in various fields. This year's laureates demonstrated exceptional dedication and innovation to pave the way for a brighter future. Now, let's explore the accomplishments of the 2023 Nobel Prize winners.


Physics: "This breakthrough opens the world of electrons."

The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz, and Anne L'Huillier "for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter." Professor Mats Larsson, a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics, discussed in an interview with journalist Sharon Jåma how this breakthrough advances molecular fingerprinting and, in the future, technologies built around molecular fingerprinting may potentially identify early-stage diseases, such as lung cancer, by monitoring changes in one's blood system. In short, attosecond technology offers the necessary sensitivity to detect the bodily changes caused by diseases.


Chemistry: "Quantum dots can be seen as one milestone for the whole field of nanotechnology."

The 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus, and Alexi I . Ekimov "for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots." Processor Heiner Linke, a Nobel Committee for Chemistry member, explained in an interview with journalist Jåma that the quantum dot has a size similar to that of a soccer ball compared to the Earth. He emphasized what makes quantum dots so intriguing is that by altering their size, their properties can be modified. One potential application of quantum dots is the creation of LED lights that mimic natural sunlight, enhancing our ability to focus and sleep more effectively.


Medicine: "This can also help us combat non-infectious diseases, like cancer."

The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman "for their discoveries concerning base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19." Professor Qiang Pan Hammarström, a member of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute, discussed the significance of this discovery during an interview with freelance journalist Lotta Fredholm. She emphasized that mRNA vaccines hold a distinct advantage over other vaccine types due to their speed, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and safety. Additionally, this platform has the potential to pave the way for vaccines targeting infectious diseases, personalized cancer vaccinations, and therapies for rare genetic conditions.

The 2023 Nobel Prizes in Physics, Medicine, and Chemistry honor the outstanding accomplishments of individuals actively advancing human knowledge and tackling some of the most pressing challenges of our time. These laureates have made an indelible impression in their respective fields, inspiring future generations to continue pushing the achievable boundaries. Their work shines as beacons of hope, guiding us toward a healthier, technologically advanced future.

Suiter Swantz IP is a full-service intellectual property law firm providing client-centric patent, trademark, and copyright services. If you need assistance with an intellectual property matter and would like to speak with one of our attorneys, please contact us at info@suiter.com.