What is Patent Protection?

When asking what is patent protection, know that patent protection occurs once an inventor has been granted a patent. This gives them the power to prevent others from making, utilizing, promoting (or providing to promote), or importing their innovations for a restricted time period. The inventor submits an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to get a patent. Patents fall under one of three categories:

  • Utility patents: these are issued for new, functional, and non-obvious machines and devices, manufacturing processes or business systems, compositions of matter or chemical compounds, or improvements on earlier patents. The patent lasts for an interval of 20 years from issue date.
  • Design patents: these are issued to protect the way a manufactured product looks. This patent doesn't protect the way a product works or the mechanical structure. It lasts for an interval of 14 years from the issue date.
  • Plant patents: these are issued newly invented strains of asexually reproduced plants. To be patentable, the plant must have been asexually propagated. This patent lasts for an interval of 17 years after issue.

Do You Need a Patent?

Patents don't shield a ‘concept’; it's the tangible description or realization of that concept (e.g. drawings, prototypes or information of the analysis) that enables a concept to change into a protectable invention. The invention or new know-how has to be usable in a present technical application, so that it may be made or utilized in some sort of business, i.e., it will need to have a sensible application as a way to be patented.

Most nationwide patent methods additionally prohibit or block from patenting, discoveries in sure areas; e.g., scientific concept and mathematical strategies; laptop packages as such; new animal or plant varieties; and strategies of therapy and analysis. Step one in figuring out whether or not to guard a brand new product or invention with a patent is to grasp the prices and advantages of patent safety. It generally takes three to five years for patent application and registration. Fees stemming from legal issues and consulting can get costly, so you need to determine if getting a patent for your invention is worth it before spending large amounts of money.

Patent Applications

Patent applications have to be filed within a year of the publication of public use of the invention. This places limitations on any marketing testing or development that you want to conduct. If you determine it’s worth it to get a patent, you should take two steps before contacting a patent lawyer:

  • Carefully record all information about the testing and research of the product.
  • Find out about other patents similar to yours by conducting a search at the USPTO Public Search Room in Arlington, VA.

Analysis and testing information should include sure important dates, such as the invention’s conception date in addition to the date where it moved past a conceptual phase and could be turned into an actual product. Additionally, your information should be capable of exhibiting company diligence within the growth and testing of the invention and embody the validation of impartial witnesses who're able to understand the scope and nature of the invention. They must also be able to confirm the conception date, when the invention could be used, and the dedication of the inventor to test and research.

An inventor might individually apply for a patent on his or her concept. If two or more individuals take part within the creation of an invention, the legislation requires that each one apply for a patent as joint inventor. An individual making use of for a patent on a concept she or he didn't invent is subject to legal penalties and invalidation of the patent, if one was issued.

If you need help with patent protection, you can post your legal need (or post your job) on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.