Getting Started on Patenting in New York What to Know
The Benefits of Understanding Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents4 min read
Trademarks, copyrights, patents-- these are important pieces of business equity that, when done correctly, protect brands, intellectual property, and inventions from being copied without permission or compensation. When you bring a new invention to the market, obtaining a patent is a critical part of the process. If you are a New York based inventor, understanding the local regulations for patent applications and the required steps to protect your investment, is essential.
When looking for resources, it's important to choose a guide that is well-versed in the nuances of patent law and can offer specialized advice without the hassle of a full-time legal team. Whether you’re searching for a one-time consult or an entire freelance legal department, UpCounsel’s network of experienced patent lawyers are uniquely quipped to provide high quality, cost-effective legal services. Business attorneys in the UpCounsel network have an average of 14 years of experience and as part of UpCounsel’s online lawyer profiles, displaying client ratings and reviews of recent work are available to give potential clients the assurance they need for their business.
This article will discuss the initial steps to get started in the patent process in New York, from what exactly a patent is to the three types of patents, and how to get the process started.
What is a Patent?
A patent is a type of legal document granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office that provides an inventor or company with exclusive rights to produce, license or sell an invention. Patents are exclusive rights that stay with the creator for a certain amount of time. In the US, the maximum amount of time a patent can be held is 20 years from the date of application. This is so companies can benefit from their investment and inventions are not unfairly copied or used without credit.
Different Types of Patent
There are three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.
Utility patents protect new and useful inventions, processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and improvements on any of these. Utility patent applications are the most common type of patent request in the United States.
Design patents protect the “ornamentation” or design of an object. Products that may be protected by design patents include artwork, furniture, housewares, toys, carpets, and sculptures.
Plant patents are similar to utility patents in that they protect useful inventions, however the inventions in this case are asexually-reproduced plants, like varieties of flowers, vegetables, and shrubs.
Steps to Getting a Patent in New York
The process for getting a patent can seem overwhelming, but broken down into smaller steps, the pieces are easier to manage. Here are the steps involved in the patent process:
Step 1: Research
The first step in the patent process is research. Before filing an application, it's important to make sure that your invention is unique and eligible for a patent. You should also research any existing patents, to make sure that there is nothing else on the market with a similar design or use.
Step 2: Contact an Attorney
The next step is to secure legal counsel to assist with the paperwork and filing. An experienced patent attorney will make sure the application is thorough and complete and can advise on the best course of action for your circumstances, whether that’s filing for a utility, design or plant patent. At UpCounsel, you have access to high-quality attorneys with an average of 14 years of experience, client reviews and other profile information to ensure a well-informed hiring decision.
Step 3: Application
Once you’re ready, the application process begins. This typically includes a formal request for the patent, drawings or a description of the invention, and other items. In the US, the application is made out to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In New York specifically, the office is located in Buffalo and they are open from 8:30 am to 5 pm weekdays.
Step 4: Filing
After you’ve filled out and filed the application, you may be asked to respond to specific questions about the patent. This communication takes place between the patent examiner and the attorney and is an important part of the process. During the communication phase, the examiner may suggest additional information which should be included in the application or ask questions about its patentability.
Step 5: Issuance
Once the examiner has reviewed all the materials and the application meets all the required criteria, the patent will be issued and the inventor is granted the exclusive rights to the invention, as well as the right to collect royalties for any product that is manufactured and sold.
The process of getting a patent for an invention in New York can be complicated and length, so support from an experienced attorney is recommended. Research, contact a qualified attorney, complete an application, and then monitor the process along with the attorney to ensure all requirements are met. UpCounsel’s network of patent attorneys is uniquely quipped to provide cost-effective legal support, from a one-time consult to an entire freelance legal department.