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At UpCounsel, we want to help save you time and money protecting your invention with a patent.
The process for registering a patent can be very time-consuming and difficult to navigate. However, working with an experienced patent attorney on UpCounsel to help you properly prepare your application, monitor your application’s progress, and formulate any additional follow-up paperwork or submissions is the best way of maximizing your success of the USPTO granting you a patent to protect your invention.
Whether you are trying to register a patent for a utility, design, plan, or software - you can easily tap into our vetted network of highly experienced patent attorneys who can help you through the process of protecting your invention with a registered patent and save you thousands of dollars in fees, as opposed to working with a big law firm.
To get started registering a provisional patent or a non-provisional patent, you can easily post a job request for free and compare proposals from several great attorneys that are highly experienced in patent law.
If you want to successfully file for and register a patent, a qualified patent attorney can help you, but first you’ll need to determine if your invention is actually ‘patentable’, meaning it must be statutory, novel, useful, and nonobvious.
Next, you need to determine what type of patent application you will need to file.
- Provisional Patent - A provisional patent application allows you to put a “patent pending” label on your invention. This gives you up to one year to essentially save your spot in line and decide if you would like to move forward with filing a non-provisional patent.
- Non-Provisional Patent - This is the standard patent application that will protect your invention for up to 20 years. This is the more formal type of patent application, and requires a detailed explanation of your invention specifications.
- International Patent - The Patent Cooperation Treaty allows an inventor to file a single international patent application to protect his or her invention in any country that is a part of the Treaty.
Types of Patents
Types of Patents
There are four types of patents:
- Utility Patents - This is the most common type of patent because it covers a broad range of categories. A utility patent protects the way something is used and how it works.
- Design Patents - This type of patent has to do with protecting the visual shape embodied in a product or article of manufacture. The design will be considered an ornamental feature of the product.
- Plant Patents - Anyone who invents or discovers a new and distinct variety of plant and is able to asexually reproduce it, can be granted a plant patent. This basically means that the plant must have been multiplied without the use of genetic seeds and cannot be found in an uncultivated state.
- Software Patents - This is the type of patent you will need to protect original computer software.
The cost of filing a patent application can vary pending on the type of patent (provisional or non-provisional), how many designs, where you are at in the patent process, domestic or international patent filing, amongst several other factors.
If filing a provisional patent application with a patent attorney on UpCounsel, the costs would start around $1200, (including the filing fees) and around $3,200 for a non-provisional patent (including the filing fees), yet pricing for each of the mentioned patents may increase depending on several other variables as mentioned above. The best way to get a more accurate cost to file a patent application is to post a job in our marketplace and compare free quotes from several patent attorneys to get a better idea of costs in accordance to your needs.
What is the difference between a patent and copyright or trademark?
A patent is the protection afforded to the inventor of an invention in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. A copyright is a type of protection afforded to many types of original works in literary, musical, and artistic form. A copyright will protect the original owner in the event that anyone else distributes, copies, displays, or performs the work without the owner’s consent. A trademark is a word, symbol, logo, or other device that identifies and represents a company.
How long will my patent last for?
Utility and plant patents are granted for a term which begins with the date of the grant and usually ends 20 years from the date you first applied for the patent subject to the payment of appropriate maintenance fees for a utility patent. There are no maintenance fees for plant patents . Design patents last 14 years from the date you are granted the patent. There are no maintenance fees required for a plant patent.
What can and cannot be patented?
The USPTO states that an inventor can patent any new and nonobvious, useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter.
However, abstract ideas, laws of nature, artistic works, physical phenomena, and inventions offensive to public morality cannot be patented.
How long does it take to get a patent issued?
This can differ based on the technology area. Some areas are slower than others because they may be more backed up with numerous applications. For example, it could take up to five years from filing the application to have an Examiner review the application. But for other areas, the waiting period could be within one to two years of the filing date.
What happens if the USPTO rejects my application?
If the Examiner issues a final action, the applicant can appeal the decision to a special board of the USPTO or decide not to argue with the decision. If the applicant decides not to appeal the decision, he or she can start the application process over again with certain continuation procedures, or just abandon the whole application.
What is a PCT Application?
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international agreement for filing patent applications having effect in many countries around the world. Although the PCT system does not provide for the grant of “an international patent”, the system simplifies the process of filing patent applications, delays the expenses associated with applying for patent protection in foreign countries, and allows the inventor more time to assess the commercial viability of his/her invention. Under the PCT, an inventor can file a single international patent application in one language with one patent office in order to simultaneously seek protection for an invention in the PCT member countries.