What You Need To Know About Getting Patents
Have you created a genius invention? Do you have an idea for a product that could potentially become very successful? Would you like to protect yourself and claim the invention as your intellectual property? If so, then you need a patent!
If You Are Not An Expert In Patent Law, Then You Need Genius Patent!
Patent filing is no trivial matter. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has a very specific and rigorous process for evaluating and processing patent applications and any mistakes can cause your application and claims to be rejected, wasting time, money and causing frustration. The good new is that Genius Patent is here to provide patent law expertise and guidance with patent services!
What Can A Patent Do For Me?
Patents are a form of intellectual property that allows an inventor or assignee to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent. Essentially, a patent allows an inventor to hold a monopoly on an invention, effectively protecting the inventors ability to either pursue the production, marketing and sale of the invention without the burden of competition, or to stop a particular product from coming to market. If you patent a product, you can then take that product to market without worrying about direct competition.
What Can Be Patented?
Patent law states that “a patent may be awarded to any person who invents or discovers a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement of an existing product or process.” The laws of nature, physical phenomena and abstract ideas are not patentable subject matter… therefore a patent cannot be obtained upon a mere idea or suggestion. Typically the four requirements that must be met are:
- The subject matter must be patentable.
- The invention must be novel.
- The invention must have some utility or usefulness.
- The invention must not be obvious.
Who Needs To Get A Patent & When Is The Right Time To File A Patent?
Any person or company that has created a new produce or process that they believe is valuable and meets the patent requirements should consider a patent filing. Throughout history there are countless examples of people who have made incredible breakthroughs and created incredible inventions only to have someone else collect all of the profit and rewards. Also, because the United States has now adopted a “first to file” approach to patents, the most important matter is who files the patent first. Therefore, if your invention does have value, and you want to reap the rewards or at least protect the integrity of the invention, then you must pursue a patent as soon as possible.
How Do I Obtain A Patent
The first step in how to obtain a patent is to file a patent application with the relevant patent office. That would be the USPTO in the United States, however different nations have their own patent offices. The application must contain the required documentation such as a description of how to make and use the invention that someone who is skilled in the relevant area or technology would understand. In some countries you must also provide information about the usefulness of the invention. Drawings illustrating the invention or diagramming the process must also be provided. The application must also contain “claims” representing the specific items being included under the scope of protection of the patent. It is strongly recommended that you seek professional patent services from an experienced patent attorney.
Once you file a patent it becomes “patent pending” which does not provide any rights or protections other than to secure the effective date and time that protection will have begun if the patent is awarded.
Once the patent is filed the USPTO will examine the patent. This is called “prosecution”. If the application does not comply with the application requirements, or if the claims of the invention are found to conflict with previously filed patents (known as “prior art”) then the application will be rejected. It is very common for applications to be rejected upon their first filing. If this happens, the applicant is allowed to file an “office action” where the reasons that the USPTO examiner offers for rejecting the application can be reviewed and a phone call can be set up to discuss the issues with the examiner. The purpose of the phone call is to clear up any misunderstandings and figure out what/if any adjustments can be made to the applications and/or claims that would allow the patent application to be approved. Once those changes are made the patent can be resubmitted.
If the examiner approves the application, then the patent is awarded. However, if the examiner continues to reject the application, the applicant can file up to three office actions. After the third time an application is rejected the applicant can continue to seek approval of the application through an appeals process. This is rarely necessary, however when this option is pursued it tends to be successful.
Securing A Patent On Your Own vs Using Professional Patent Services
Anyone can file a patent. There is no requirement of specific legal certification to file a patent. However, due to the complexity of documentation, specific formatting requirements, rules and procedures, it is much more likely that a patent will actually be awarded when an experienced patent attorney is involved. Therefore it is recommended that you seek professional patent services.
What Are The Different Types Of Patents?
- Utility Patent: Utility patents cover the invention of new and useful processes, machines, manufacturing or composition of matter, including any new and useful improvement thereof. The vast majority of patents that are issued are utility patents. They protect how something is made and what it does.
- Design Patent: Design patents are issues for a new, original and ornamental design that is embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture. Design patents are used to protect the specific way something looks.
- Plant Patent: Plant patents protect new and distinct, invented or discovered asexually reproduced plants including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids and newly found seedlings or than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.
How Are Patents Enforced?
Generally patents are enforced through civil lawsuits. Typically the patent owner seeks monetary compensation for any infringement and seeks an injunction against the defendant from future infringement. Due to the complexity of patent law and the burden of proof of specific infringement, this can be a lengthy and expensive process with many patent cases lasting years and costing in the millions of dollars to prosecute.
Who Can Own A Patent?
The first inventor to reduce the idea to practice (which is either to make and sell the invention or simply to file the patent application) is eligible to be awarded the patent. Effectively, this means that the first person to complete a patent filing typically is the first in line to receive the patent for that specific invention.
What Are The Costs To Obtain A Patent?
The costs for filing a patent with the USPTO can be found at: USPTO Patent Filing Fees. However, the USPTO fees are typically nominal when compared to the legal fees of filing a patent. Find the complete list of costs associated with filing a patent through Genius Patent here: Cost Of Filing A Patent With Genius Patent