Do I Need a Patent?


Do I Need a Patent?

When people come up with a new, innovative idea, they may want to protect it. With the proper protection, it can ensure the idea does not fall into the wrong hands or is used by anyone else. While receiving a patent can be an overwhelming and lengthy process, it is important to do so if you wish to protect your original idea. To learn more, continue reading and contact an experienced New Jersey intellectual property attorney for assistance.

What is a Patent?

Simply put, a patent is a contract that is made between the inventor of an idea and the government. This allows them the property rights to their invention so that no one else is able to make, use, or sell it for their own benefit without the permission of the inventor. This right is given for 20 years from the date the application is filed. There are three types of patents available to inventors:

  • Utility patents: To protect the usefulness of the invention
  • Design patents: To protect the invention’s decorative feature or aesthetic value
  • Plant patents: To protect plants that are asexually produced and newly discovered

How Do I Obtain a Patent?

The process of obtaining a patent begins with a novelty search. This is done to find out if the invention is already patented, if there is a limit to the protection, and where the idea fits in the world. When this is finished, an application can be filed. This step is called “patent pending.” During this time, the application is assessed by the United States Patent Office to see if the inventor should be granted approval. If approved, the inventor must pay insurance fees and maintenance fees throughout the years to keep their rights. 

What is a Patentable Invention?

There are certain things that can and cannot be patented. While design and plant products are fairly simple, the concept of utility patents can be more complicated. Some ideas that are considered patentable under a utility patent can include machinery, processes, man-made products, the composition of matter, and methods. 

While this is true, there are exceptions to what can be patented. Ideas that are obvious, ideas that are abstract, laws of nature, and natural phenomena cannot be patented. If you are unsure of whether or not your invention can be patented, file a provisional application before sharing your idea with another party. In addition to this, contact an intellectual property attorney for guidance in understanding what options are available to you.

Contact our Firm

The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC has over 25 years of experience helping clients through tough times when they need it most. If you need assistance with any intellectual property, traffic violations, or business law matters, our firm is here to help. It is critical that you pick the right attorney who can protect your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC for a consultation.