What Should I Know About Patents?
What is a Patent?
A patent is a right that is granted by the federal government, to an inventor. The patent permits the inventor to stop or exclude other people from making, selling, or using the invention for a certain period of time. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is in charge of setting qualification criteria and approval of all patents.
What are the Different Categories of Patents?
There are three different kinds of patents, which are utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.
- Utility Patent. The is considered the most common type of patent. This patent is granted for new inventions of machines, chemicals, and processes.
- Design Patent. A design patent is granted to an inventor who creates a unique design or appearance of an object.
- Plant Patent. A plant patent can be granted for the invention of new and distinct plants. This can include hybrid plants.
Are There Requirements to Qualify for a Patent?
To qualify for a patent, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office requires that you meet certain criteria:
- Novel and non-obvious. An invention must be novel and non-obvious to qualify for a patent. An invention is novel and non-obvious if at least one part is different from other similar inventions and it may not have been sold or used by another inventor within one year of the date the patent application was filed.
- An inventor must prove that the invention is useful. The invention must have beneficial use and must be operable. If the invention cannot perform the function it was invented to perform, it will likely be deemed not useful.
Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me With my Patent?
Patent law is complicated. There are steps in the application process you may not understand and can feel very burdensome. If you have an invention you would like patented, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney. An experienced patent law attorney can help you through the process.
Our firm has over 25 years of experience helping clients through tough times. 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.