Patent Agent & Principal
Green Mountain Innovations
A Patent Agent Who Knows the Stresses of a Start-Up
Alan Coté is the principal and founder of Green Mountain Innovations LLC. He holds a BS in
Mechanical Engineering from the University at Buffalo, and was admitted to practice before the
US Patent and Trademark Office in 2001 as a Patent Agent.
GMI knows first-hand the realities of a technology start-up, standing apart from big law firms
that cater to deep-pocketed clients. In 1997, Cote co-founded CC Kinetics Inc. CCK spent several
years developing breakthrough technology for sports performance monitoring, and licensed the
resulting intellectual property to a Polar Electro OY, the world’s leader maker of heart rate
monitors for athletes. His leadership at CCK drove the venture from idea genesis through final
licensing negotiations, resulting in a 14-year long royalty stream.
CCK cemented his interest in intellectual property, and he went on to sit for the Patent BAR
exam. Through his patent practice, Green Mountain Innovations LLC, he has represented scores
of inventors before the US Patent Office. In addition to patent drafting and prosecution, his
expertise also includes market evaluation, commercialization, and licensing strategies for new
Patent Agent or Patent Attorney?
Patent law is distinct from other areas of law practice. To represent others before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in patent cases, a practitioner must have passed the Patent Bar exam. A degree in a science or engineering discipline is required to qualify for this exam. Those who pass the exam and do not hold a Juris Doctorate (JD) are patent agents, those with a JD are patent attorneys. Thus, an ordinary attorney is not qualified to practice patent law (unless they are a patent attorney), but a patent agent is. Patent agents and attorneys are equally qualified to consult and give advice as a client contemplates whether to seek patent protection on an invention.
Likewise, patent attorneys and agents have the same qualifications/license to prepare patent applications; respond to USPTO communications; make arguments to the USPTO for the patentability of a claimed invention; and file amendments, appeals, etc. Patent agents are not authorized to practice other areas of the law. Green Mountain Innovations has close relationships with several law firms which can provide legal services such as new business formation, patent infringement litigation, etc. Similar GMI relationships also enable patent prosecution in foreign (non-US) countries.