Urschel Laboratories: Local Presence, Prompt Service, and Global Reach


When seeking a patent for a complicated device, it helps if your attorney is local — and an engineer. Urschel Laboratories, the world’s leader in designing, manufacturing, and selling precision-engineered food-cutting solutions, found this to be true.

Founded in 1910 with the invention of a mechanical Gooseberry Snipper, the family-held company now holds more than 200 patents. It approached Hartman Global more than 10 years ago, when it needed prompt, local patent assistance.

Mike Jacko, V.P. Engineering, Urschel Laboratories

“We were working with a huge firm in Washington, D.C., but it was hard getting them to move quickly,” recalled Mike Jacko, Vice President of Engineering for Urschel. The company had modified its designs for one of its largest customers and needed to get the new machine to market. Hartman Global came to the plant in Valparaiso, IN, and immediately started work.

Protecting Design Changes
“Often we need to make changes in a hurry,” Mike explained. “But if you release changes to the public without protection, you may lose your chance of getting that protection. When we need something in a hurry, Hartman Global takes care of it.”

The firm’s engineering expertise speeds work — critical when time is tight. “Our machines are fairly complicated. Because the attorneys are all engineers, they understand the mechanical aspects. I don’t have to explain things twice or from scratch,” Mike said.

This understanding saves Urschel time and results in more robust patent applications. “I don’t have to go over their work to double check that it’s right,” he noted. Such accuracy also facilitates the review process. “It’s rare that you’ll ever get a patent from application to granting without some change by the examiner,” Mike continued. Because of Hartman Global’s work, “We have fewer rejections and things to change.” If there are changes, “the firm takes care of it.”

Hartman Global also prepares non-disclosure agreements for Urschel to use with its customers to provide additional protection.

Global Patent Expertise
Because Urschel sells its food-cutting machines in more than 100 countries, global patent protection is essential. In addition to the United States, Hartman Global has filed numerous patent applications for Urschel in North America, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Australia, and China. The firm’s small size and international experience benefits the manufacturer. “They are a tight team. They talk to each other,” Mike said, unlike at a big firm, where different individuals, and possibly different offices, handle U.S. versus foreign patents.

In the end, it comes down to trust. “It’s nice to trust that when I need something, I can call, they will come out, and in a couple of days have something filed for us,” he added.

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