How Does a Patent Work?

How Does a Patent Work?

This country would be nothing without innovation. We live in America as we know it because of our smart, expressive thinkers over the years. These people are some of the most valuable members of our society, as they are constantly seeking new and improved ways to accomplish life’s tasks more efficiently. This is why if you have an idea for an invention that is unique, new, useful, and not obvious, you must consider obtaining a patent. Do not let your ideas fall into the wrong hands. If you wish to know more about obtaining a patent, here are some of the questions you may have:

What is a patent? 

Essentially, a patent is a contract between you (the inventor) and the government. A patent will grant you property rights for a period of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application. This 20-year term may be adjusted. Essentially, a patent will protect your idea from anyone seeking to exploit your it for their benefit for a fixed period of time in exchange for a detailed disclosure of the invention that will enrich public knowledge and benefit the public overall. Within the specified period of protection, no one may use, offer, make or sell your invention without permission.

Is there more than one kind of patent?

In the United States, there are 3 types of patents. They are as follows:

  • Design patents: These patents protect the decorative feature or aesthetic value.
  • Plant patents: These protect a plant that is asexually produced and considered newly discovered.
  • Utility patents: These patents protect the usefulness of an invention, product, process or method. Some examples of utility patents are processes, man-made products, machinery, a composition of matter, and methods. 

It is very important that you should know a U.S. patent is only applicable in the United States. In some cases, you may need to obtain patents in other countries, as all countries do not need to abide by our laws. You should also note that not all ideas are patentable on the sole basis of being unique and not obvious. Courts have excluded certain ideas that are obvious, abstract, laws of nature, and natural phenomena from being patented. These laws are quite vague, so before you discuss your idea with anyone, you should file a provisional application.

Contact our New Jersey 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.