Patents on new inventions are not an automatic right. Instead, an inventor must apply and be granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The process is long, laborious and very time-consuming.

A U.S. patent is basically a contract between an inventor and the government. The purpose behind the patent “contract” is to encourage innovators and inventors to bring forth new products and ideas. Without some form of protection, inventors would likely be unwilling to spend their time and money developing an invention. The U.S. patent laws were written to provide an incentive to inventors to create and publicly disclose their inventions. In exchange for full disclosure of an invention, the government grants the inventor the right to exclude others from making, selling or importing the patented invention. You can find out more fromĀ too.

There are three types of patents, they are: 1) utility patents which protect the way an article is used and works; 2) design patents which protects the way an article looks; and 3) plant patents issued for asexually reproducing plants. Both design and utility patents may be obtained on an article if invention resides in both its usefulness and ornamental appearance. While utility and design patents afford legally separate protection, the utility and ornamentality of an article are not easily separable.

In order to be patentable, an invention must useful, novel (new), and non-obvious–meaning that when viewed as a whole, the invention must not have been simply an obvious improvement in the invention’s field when viewed by one of ordinary skill in that particular field.

The patent application process generally involves three steps. First, the person (or corporation) seeking the patent must file an application with the Patent Office. In addition to including a detailed description of how to make and use the invention, the application must include patent claims–statements that define the scope of the invention which the inventor is attempting to protect.

Writing the actual patent application is a very demanding process that takes some experience to do well. For that reason it is common to hire a patent agency such as InventHelp or hire a patent attorney to write the more legally complicated portions, based on the complete information you have provided. Once the application has been filed, a patent examiner will be assigned to review the claims and the rest of the application.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *