Patents – A General Overview

Have you ever had an idea that you are positive is the next big thing? In most cases, you do a quick search and find that someone else came up with it first, but in some cases, your idea is truly original. In this case, you will certainly want to patent it. You may be wondering, “what is a patent?” Read on to learn more about patents in New Jersey and how to obtain one.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a contract between you and the government that grants property rights for a period of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application. It protects your idea from others who would like to exploit your idea for their benefit for a fixed period of time. Within the time period of protection, no one may make, use, offer for sale, or sell this invention without permission.

There are different types of patents:

  • Utility patents protect the usefulness of an invention, product, process or method.
  • Design patents protect the decorative feature or aesthetic value.
  • Plant patents protect a plant that is asexually produced and considered newly discovered.

What is Patentable?

Congress promotes the progress of science and useful arts by granting certain protections to inventors and authors through exclusive rights to their discoveries for a limited time. These are rights are called patents. Some ideas that may be considered patentable and fall under the definition of utility include machinery, processes, man-made products, composition of matter, and methods.

There are some things that are not patentable. This includes ideas that are obvious, abstract, laws of nature, and natural phenomena.

How Can I Get a Patent?

The first step of obtaining a patent is a novelty search. The novelty search is conducted to see where your patent fits and whether anything like it has already been patented. The next step will be drafting your application. You can file a provisional application or a non-provisional application. A provisional application allows you to patent your idea while still working on it. A non-provisional application is usually filed once you have more information. Once your application has been filed, your invention can be marked “patent pending” and the U.S. Patent Office will examine your request. If your application is accepted, you will have to pay insurance fees. These fees will be paid on the 4th, 8th, and 12th year of the patent’s life to secure your rights to the invention.

If you are interested in creating a patent, contact our firm to speak with an experienced patent attorney today. We are excited to help you protect your ideas and inventions.

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.