Home Patent Page 3

Patent

Use a Patent Search To Find What You Need!

Use a Patent Search To Find What You Need!

What is a Patent?
A patent is an exclusive right granted by a state, particularly a national government, to an inventor or assignee, for a limited amount of time in exchange for a public disclosure of the underlying invention or idea. 
The procedure for issuing patents, the requirements placed on the holder of the patent and the extent to which the exclusivity rights protect the invention or idea will vary widely between countries based on particular national law and international agreement. In most cases, a patent application will include one or more claims to define the invention; to obtain a patent, the idea or invention must be new, useful, non-obvious or industrially applicable. 
A patent offers the creator of a particular invention or idea the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, distributing or selling the patented invention without permission. A patent is simply, a right to prevent other manufacturers, individuals or producers from using the underling invention or idea. Patents are regulated under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; this organization will make patents available to WTO member states for any inventions or ideas relating to all fields of technology. The terms attached to such patents will offer exclusive rights to holders for a minimum of twenty years; however, different types of patents may have varying terms attached to the exclusivity of the underlying patent. 

What is a Patent Search and how do I conduct one?
A patent search is a fundamental step required to obtain a patent. A patent search enables an inventor or individual with a novel idea to cross-reference his particular vision to ensure that it has yet to be patent by another developer or inventor. In simple terms, the patent search will inspect all previously-issued patents and observe the inventions and ideas in which they cover to make sure that your particular idea or invention has not been patent already.
 There are several ways to conduct a patent search; an individual can utilize a professional service or can conduct an online patent search to evaluate all previously-issued patents in a particular industry or field. To conduct a self-driven patent search you must first determine what type of patent you will be seeking. For instance, a utility patent will cover the functional aspects of your invention, whereas a design patent will only cover the appearance of your particular invention. 
After you have chosen which type of patent to go after, you must access an online patent database, offered by GOOGLE, the U.S. Patent Office, the United States Trademark Office or IBM. Upon inspecting these services, you must determine the most relevant classes and subclasses for your particular invention. 
Once you have determined the subclasses, you must read the class descriptions in the database to observe which are relevant to your underlying idea. During this process you must review all patents issued within those particular classes; to conduct this search, you must use comprehensive keyword searches for your potential invention. 
If you don’t feel like partaking in a self-driven patent search you can hire professional search to conduct the patent search for you. A patent agent or attorney, is an individual who possesses technical training and is licensed by the United States PTO in order to prepare and administer patent applications. 

A Quick Guide to Patents

A Quick Guide to Patents

In order to protect the rights of an invention or improvement, the inventor should apply for a patent.
Patents allow for certain rights to be bestowed upon the inventor or owner of invention, such as the exclusion of others from making, using, or selling the same or similar invention or improvement in the United States. Patents are to be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent application process is best initiated by visiting the USPTO website in order to obtain the necessary patent application forms and the necessary instructions to formally register a patent. Before applying for a patent, one should search to make sure that the invention that is to be registered has not already been patented. 
Searching the USPTO database can be done online and is free of charge. If no patent exists, one must then provide for exact details regarding the invention, explicitly stating how it functions and how it is made or produced. In certain cases, drawings will also be required in the patent application. One must also categorize patents as either plant, design, or utility patents. 
Upon filling out the required application, one can file by electronic means through the USPTO e-filing system. There will usually be fees required for the filling of applications for patents.

How to Get a Patent

How to Get a Patent

A patent is a legal device used to protect intellectual property, such as inventions, designs, or an original work of specific worth or value. In essence, a patent is used in order to protect inventions to the extent that other are prohibited by law to replicate, use, manufacture, and sell the same exact invention or creation. 
In the United States, the process of obtaining a patent can prove to be quite extensive and subject to adhering to specific procedures and patent law. In order to get a patent, one should consider following the steps:
Know the Various Kinds of Patents

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is the governmental authority that deals will all aspects of patents, included in the process of how to get a patent and the formal granting of such legal rights. Before applying for a patent, one should determine which kind of patent is best to obtain for the particular invention is at hand. There are three basic types of recognized patents in the United States:
1. Utility Patent: Granted to individuals that invent or discover any process, device, machine, or improvement of an existing invention.
2. Design Patent: Reserved for inventions of new and original ornamental designs.
3. Plant Patent: Granted to a person that invents, discovers, or asexually reproduces a new and unique plant species.
Prepare All Involved Designs, Procedures, and Drawings for the Invention 
In the process of creating a new invention, there are bound to be specific plans and designs regarding the creation of such a new device. In essence, the entire process of inventing the new machine or design should be documented throughout, so as to provide for a way of recreating the invention in the future.
Furthermore, documented the involved steps, the materials used, specific instructions, and related drawings, designs, or plans should all be produced for record-keeping purposes. When filing for a patent, it will be required that some, if not all, related plans, drawings, and instructions for creating the invention be provided. This is to not only document how to create the invention, but to also ensure that it is a unique and valuable one.
Conduct a Patent Search
In the process of how to patent a new invention, before submitting an application for a formal patent, a patent search should be conducted in regards to the newly created invention.  The United States Patent and Trademark Office keeps on record for public viewing all patents that are properly registered.
Conducting a search would help determine whether a patent has been filed or granted that is similar to a person’s invention or new design. This can help avoid costs and time in the case the patent application is filed, and then is found to have already been granted previously for a similar invention. The patent search can be done through the USPTO website or in person at the USPTO Public Search Facility in Alexandria, Virginia.
Visit the USPTO Website and Obtain Necessary Application Forms
Upon finding that there is no patent on file in regards to a person’s invention, then one can submit a formal application for a patent. The application will contain information regarding the inventor and distinct and extensive information regarding the invention that is being filed for patent. There will also be certain fees required at the time filing the patent application.
Consider Hiring a Patent Attorney
How to patent an invention will vary depending on the nature of the invention itself. Furthermore, there are various laws and regulations that exist in regards to patents which can prove to be confusing to many. Therefore, it is often recommended to hire the services of a patent attorney to help with the patent application process. 

What Does it Take to Patent an Idea

What Does it Take to Patent an Idea

In the United States, patents are issued to individuals that have created or invented a novel and unique machine, device, design, or plan. Patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and are contingent to proving their innovation through a formal application process. How to patent an idea or new invention will differ depending on the type of patent that is needed.
Types of Patents

The United States issues three different types of patents:
1. Utility Patent: This kind of patent is meant to protect the rights of a person in regards to his/her new creation. This is the most common type of patent granted by the USPTO and can include a variety of different types of inventions. These patents are granted for total of 20 years from the date that the patent is issued.
2. Design Patent: These patents are more specific, granting protection rights to an individual’s creation of a new and innovative ornamental design. However, this patent will not extend to the functioning characteristics or the inherent philosophy of the design. Design patents are granted for a total of 14 years from the date it was originally granted.
3. Plant Patent: The most specific of the types of patents granted in the United States; it is issued to individuals that manage to create or discover a new species of plant by asexual means. The new plant created must be distinctly different from those already considered to be commonly known.
Is the Idea Patentable?
Before beginning the actual patent application and filing process, one should give consideration to the actual possibility of patenting the idea. Not just any particular idea will be granted a patent, and will be subjected to meeting specific criteria. Among some of the eligibility considerations are:
1. The idea must have inherent value and be useful.  This would mean that the idea would have novel application in terms of technical processes, industry, business methods, or is a new and innovative machine or chemical.
2. The idea, when applied, will perform the task or purpose properly. The idea or invention should perform the entire task it claims to be able to perform, and must do so properly and be able to repeat the task.
3. The idea must not already be patented in the United States.
4. The idea must be original. It cannot be considered to be a law of nature or phenomenon and is not to be abstract or unsubstantial.

Patent Search 
Before applying for patent protection in the United States, one should conduct a patent search. Though it is not a formally required procedure in the patent application process, it is strongly recommended to search the USPTO database to make sure that no existing patents for the same idea already exist or are on file. 
Furthermore, if there is a patent already granted for a product that is different, yet considered to be somewhat similar, this can affect the patentability of a person’s own idea or invention.  It is important to note that even though a patent can be granted, it is also subject to being revoked if someone files a claim of patent infringement.

Patent Invention: How Do I File?

Patent Invention: How Do I File?

A patent invention, simple terms, is one that has been appropriately applied for and granted rights by the applicable governmental authority.  In the United States, a patent invention will be one that has undergone the patent application and registration process, which is done through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Upon making sure the invention or idea is able to be patented and all fees have been furnished, the USPTO will recognize the patent invention and enforce all applicable patent protection laws. 
Patent Application
A patent application is a legal document that is required in order to have a patent invention legally recognized in the United States and enforces the protection of the inventor’s rights over such invention. The application to patent invention ideas is not a typical form or application per se, but rather is one that must be drafted. 
Typically, a person considering patenting an invention or idea will usually require the assistance of a patent attorney or lawyer to help with the application process. Furthermore, there are various laws and regulations that can make the application process quite extensive.
The patent application will have distinct and strict requirements as to what is to be included before submitting it for registration. Aside from the required fees, the application will also contain specific information in regards to the invention, drawings or plans, and an oath to be made and notarized stating that the invention is original.
The patent application can only be filed by the inventor, though there are few exceptions. Therefore, all individuals that were involved in the creation of the invention must also be included and listed in all patent applications. 
How to File to Patent Invention
In drafting the patent application, the inventor must include certain types of information. Furthermore, one must also determine what kind of patent application is to be filed, non-provisional or provisional.
The provisional patent will allow for the inventor to market the invention publically and allow for further research to be made.  A provisional patent will grant patent protection rights, though the formal examination process will not begin until one year later after filing the application.
A non-provisional patent will begin the formal registration process immediately, in which the patent will be subjected to examination to conclude that the invention or idea is a unique, useful, new, and innovative one. 
All patent invention applications are to be filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which will use the concept of first to invent to grant patent protection rights. 
Therefore, keeping detailed records and an organized and journal regarding the process of invention is strongly recommended. Such factors can prove important when having to prove that the invention was created first by a particular individual. 

Finding Your Place in Patent Jobs

Finding Your Place in Patent Jobs

The world of patents will prove to have individuals in various professions and careers. Patent jobs vary can vary greatly in terms of which field of concentration they are applied in and level of expertise.  There also careers that deal strictly with patents, while others may often times encounter situations with patents on a consistent basis. The following is a list of a variety of patent jobs and careers:
Patent Examiner 
A patent examiner is among the many patent jobs that will deal strictly with patents. A patent examiner in the United States would be employed by the Federal Government to work with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 
The main responsibility of a patent examiner is to analyze patent applications to determine the patentability of a particular invention, design, or idea. Being a patent examiner requires having a specialized skill set in order to appropriate investigate and examine inventions that are being submitted for patent consideration.
Among the various fields that patent examiners will often specialize, some include:
1. Chemical Engineering
2. Mechanical Engineering
3. Civil Engineering
4. Aeronautical Engineering
5. Nuclear Engineering
6. Biology
7. Pharmacology
8. Microbiology
9. Chemistry
10. Physics
Patent Agent 
A patent agent is an individual that usually works in private sectors for the purpose of assisting others obtain patents for their inventions or ideas. A patent agent is not considered to be a patent attorney, though he/she must be registered to practice with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. However, patent agents will usually have various legal responsibilities and functions as they pertain to patents.  Among the various responsibilities of patent agent, some are:
1. Drafting Patent Applications: Due to the legal knowledge and technical or scientific backgrounds required for the position, a patent agent will have the necessary skill and experience to properly draft patent applications.
2. Patent Prosecution: In the case that the USPTO denies or rejects a patent application, patent agents be employed to either make amendments to the application in order to be re-submitted, or develop arguments to overturn or appeal the rejection. 
3. Litigation Support: Because a patent agent is not legally allowed to practice law outside of the realm of patents, he/she will often times work with attorneys in cases regarding patent litigation or lawsuits.
Patent Paralegal
Patent paralegals will assist patent attorneys and lawyers in a variety of situations and tasks.  A patent paralegal will prove to be knowledgeable of existing laws and statutes governing patents, both in the United States and on the international level. Responsibilities of a paralegal may include:
1. Preparing and filling patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
2. Maintain contact with inventors and clients
3. Keeping records from the USPTO and clients
4. Assist in research in regards to patent law
5. Assist in the drafting of patent applications
A patent paralegal, though not an attorney, must complete courses of study that are accredited by the American Bar Association. Though it may not be required to be certified, it is often recommended that certification be considered, which does help when looking for a position in the field. 

Differences Between a Patent and Copyright

Differences Between a Patent and Copyright

A patent and a copyright are two forms of intellectual property holding many similar characteristics, though the differences between the two are quite numerous. The differences between the patents and copyrights are related to the types of work they protect, the manner in which they are established, and the terms of both protections. Both patents and copyrights exist on the basis that a person’s ideas and work should be protected as a natural right to the owner and hard work and labor should be rewarded to offset the costs of creating new ideas, art, and articles. It is important to understand the difference between the two, as only certain products of labor are protected under a patent law and others under copyright law.

Protections:

The fundamental difference between a patent and copyright are the types of work each protects. Essentially, patents protect ideas and all derivative works that stem from those ideas, while in contrast, copyrights are designed to protect original expressions of ideas (not ideas themselves). An idea, protected under patenting, can be used to create new inventions, articles, designs, compositions of matter and other tangible products that may prove to be unique and useful to people. An expression of an idea comes in other forms, such as a sound recording, motion picture, photograph, drawing, or literary work. 

The rules of these protections also differ between a patent and copyright. Although a patent is a strong protection handled and approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the protection only lasts for twenty years. Copyrights, on the other hand, offer protection from the moment of inception of the work, though are not strictly protected until they are registered with the United States Copyright Office. Also, a registered copyright lasts for seventy years after the death of the copyright holder. It is important not to mistaken a patentable idea for a copyright and assume that protection is automatically given to it after it is created because the idea may be stolen and used by another entity legally.

Goals:

The goal of patenting a invention is to exclude all other parties from recreating an inventor’s work so that a monopoly is held over the idea to allow for financial gain and reward to offset the inventor’s investments. Not only will the inventor be rewarded after patenting an article, but since the idea is disclosed to the public, it is also meant to help stimulate new ideas through innovation and inspiration, while keeping a country’s economy in a healthy state of expansion.

A copyright is protection on the expression of an idea, which rewards people for their creativity and ability to construct new ideas through works of authorship. A copyright holder is rewarded by their labor by maintain exclusive rights to a work, to profit off of it, license it to other parties, or transfer ownership to another entity. These rewards of copyright ownership of a valuable asset explain the goal of copyright: to stimulate the production of creative ideas. In a world without copyright protection, the incentive of creating new ideas would be lost without the prospect of benefiting from sole ownership. Similar to the idea behind patents, it is important for authors of work to be able to recoup their investment in a project.

Differences Between a Patent and Trademark

Differences Between a Patent and Trademark

Patents and trademarks are both forms of intellectual properties protections enforceable under United States law. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for examining and approving patent and trademark requests, and maintaining records of all patents and trademarks which have been filed since its inception, whether active or inactive. 

The USPTO keeps the records of patents and trademarks separate because they both protect two different forms of intellectual property. The main difference is that a patent protects a tangible invention, product, or a composition of matter, while a trademark protects intangible assets in a company, such as a logo or brand name which provide an image of a company to the public.

Protections:

Patents temporarily protect physical articles and compositions of matter created by inventors. No other company can recreate, sell, or offer for sale a patented invention. Trademarks, in contrast, protect intangible marks that a company uses to market such inventions. Taking advantage of both forms of intellectual property is essential for businesses and inventors. Without a trademark, a business will have unique products, but their image may be hurt from competitors using identical marks. Without a patent, a company will have a protected image, but they will no longer have a 100 percent market share on a product.

Goals:

Patents are designed exclude all other parties, aside from the inventor, from recreating the inventor's tangible work for a period of twenty years. Patents have other stipulations attached to them as well, each designed to help stimulate innovative ideas with the intention of expanding the economy. 

Although the inventor has exclusive rights to the invention, the details of the invention must be disclosed to the public in exchange for those rights. This helps the spread of new ideas without keeping the ideas behind inventions as a secret. Overall, the two main goals of patents are to reward inventors for their labor and to help an economy stay healthy and expand.

Trademarks, while similar to patents, are designed with different goals in mind. Since trademarks protect intangible objects, such as logos, images, sounds, and other ways in which a company identifies itself to the public, a trademark protects a company and its product's image. 

When a trademark is granted by the USPTO, a company has exclusive rights to use it and other companies cannot use that mark or marks found to be too similar. Not only does this help businesses distinguish themselves from others, but it also protects customers as well. Trademark infringement can create confusion among customers, so the enforcement of trademarks helps customers understand the products they are buying and from who they are buying it from.

Why Do We Have Patents?

Why Do We Have Patents?

Patents, like other forms of intellectual property, have a primary goal of encouraging innovation through new works, products, inventions, matter compositions, and all improvements to them by awarding inventors and authors with exclusivity, and at the same time, benefiting society as a whole. 
Through this system, the general idea is that there is a greater chance of financial rewards within the marketplace and an inventor, through exclusive rights, will be given the opportunity to make up for the costs put into the creation of the invention. 
Although many economists believe that patents provide efficient research and development programs which output a maximum amount of products, opponents of the patenting system argue that patents actually hinder development of new products by lowering research and development budgets and decreasing economic output.
Patents encourage innovation through public disclosure. Without the system of patents, businesses and inventors would be more inclined in keeping their products under trade secret protection, discouraging the spread of ideas. Though a business or inventor would not have a legally-enforced exclusive right on trade secrets, trade secrets are concealed from the public so that competitors cannot recreate the same product. 
Patents were designed to combat this by allowing new technological ideas to be given to the public, stimulating new ideas in other inventors and businesses and inspiring other products. Also, the temporary nature of patents guarantee that inventions and products may be reproduced after a give period of time. This is in contrast to trade secrets, which would keep an invention behind a curtain indefinitely, for as long as a company effectively protects it.
Patents also facilitate the process of commercializing a new invention. Studies show that commercializing a product through testing, building a factory and establishing a market skyrockets prices on investment. Without exclusivity given by patents, competing companies may make it difficult for an inventor to make back the costs of its productization investment.

Rationale of Intellectual Property:
Intellectual property rights has become a firmly-established system within the United States, beginning in the 20th century. There are three main goals of intellectual property which serve as the rationale behind it– financial incentive, economic growth, and human rights.

Financial Incentive:
The labor of inventors pays off through financial incentive for creating new and innovative products. Exclusive rights through intellectual property also help to offset the risky research and development costs and the costly process of making a product available to the public.

Economic Growth:
Intellectual property has played a large role in economic growth in the United States. Many large companies within the United States have valuable intangible assets through intellectual property structure, consisting of as much as two-thirds of a large company’s total value. Studies done by the United Nations show that intellectual property-intensive industries benefit through a more rapid growth.

Human Rights:
Intellectual property such as patents is based on the assumption that an individual should have all the rights to “the product of his mind.” Intellectual property is not enforceable if an idea never passes the idea stage. It is important to embody an idea into a physical form before it can be placed in the exclusive hands of an inventor.

Knowing the Improper Subject Matter of Patents

Knowing the Improper Subject Matter of Patents

Utility patents design patents offer two separate and different protections for articles under United States intellectual property law. Utility patents protect the practical and useful features of an invention. This includes all the parts of an invention and the unique configuration in which they have been constructed to carry out a specific function. Design patents are used to protect the cosmetic features of an article and cover the visible aspects including the way it is presented to the public. In some instances, an article in question may present features that have both ornamental and functional purposes, and as a result, they may be considered as a relevant feature in both a design patent and utility patent application.
Since the line between a utility and design feature of an article can become blurred, confusion is likely to arise in the submission process. This can cause the subject matter within a design patent application to be improperly identified as a design feature, when it is, in fact, a functional feature, lacking ornamentality. If a functional feature is incorrectly identified as a design feature in a design application, it is improper use of statutory subject matter under the code 35 U.S.C. 171. 
Features of an article may lack a unique design or a distinctive shape within the design application and will be deemed inappropriate material. Under the same statute, a design must also be an original work, not simulating well-known designs that may be easily recognized. Finally, further inappropriate material which is not patentable under any terms by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) includes subject matter considered to be offensive to any race, religion, sex, ethnic group or nationality.

Patent Trolling

Open Source