Creating new inventions means looking into patents. Thankfully, if you’re creating a new invention, the only patent you need to be knowledgeable about is the utility patent. This is granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO,which is a federal agency that is charged with administering patent applications. Usually, the time period for patents is twenty years, meaning nobody but the patent holder can alter and reproduce this invention.
After a patent has been granted by the government agency over patents, the owner of the patent can enforce that patent by bringing patent infringement action (which is a lawsuit) against anybody that sells the invention without the patent owner’s permission. This is where it may be useful to have a knowledgeable patent lawyer in the United States, like the ones available at Kaplan Law Practice, LLC at your side.
Patent law is very complex, and a good patent lawyer in the United States can help you understand it.
The most common patent in use today is the utility patent, covering almost any invention that functions in a unique manner and provides a functional use. This is why when you think of a patent, you think of an invention.
There are five categories to a utility patent: a process; a machine; a manufacture; a composition of matter or an improvement of an existing idea. These categories are essentially the groups that your patent may be sorted into, and sometimes a patent may fall into multiple categories.
An instance of this is when you create a computer software (a process because it takes steps to make the computer function) and a machine (a device that takes information from input to output). Regardless of the categories your device falls into, whether it’s one of the above categories or every category available, only one patent will be issued for it.
How to Get a Utility Patent
Getting this patent can be… tedious. You may need to describe your invention, breaking it down into essential and nonessential (or optional) parts. To do this, you’d also want to ensure there is nothing similarly done—or in the case of creating a better invention based on another, you’d want to see what other people have already done in the past.
If your patent uses the same tensioner as another, it’ll be hard to get that patent permissions. However, a good patent lawyer in the United States can potentially help you with your patent searches. The cost of a utility patent application can be a lot, dependent upon what you are patenting, so search thoroughly.
Filing for your patent… is really filing an application for approval by the USPTO. There are multiple sections in the application, and several formal requirements. Sometimes with its own rules and formatting. It may even require drawings of designs, or diagrams that explain the invention.
In the case of utility patents, there is a requirement for a thorough explanation of how the invention works, and that includes discussing alternative ways to create their invention and use it. Essentially, you need to be able to teach someone else how to use your patent without having you there to teach it to them.