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Importance of Registering a Patent

Importance of Registering a Patent

The process of patent registration as it is practiced under United States law is geared toward securing intellectual property rights for the creators of original ideas for devices and processes. Successfully applying for a patent enables the holder to pursue legal action against others who improperly make use of the patented idea or claim it as their own. 
In addition to protecting against the malicious abuse of intellectual property rights, patent registration also ensures that an original idea will appear in a thorough patent search and thereby prevent the original author from being preempted by others with the same idea.
United States law conceives of patent registration in negative terms. That is to say, a patent holder is not so much, under the literal wording of the law, empowered to make use of a patented idea as to prevent others from making use of it. This concept of patent registration proceeds from the principle that American law does not in general require that sellers of a particular good have a special grant from the government to do so. 
Rights in relation to a commercial good such as an invention are conceived instead in relation to the rights which other people have toward the invention. In this conception of patent rights, the patent holder must give permission to others to use an invention, commonly through a patent license agreement. If the patent holder feels that this right is being violated by others, he or she has the power to file suit in a Federal court. Possible courses of action in response to patent infringement include asking the courts to issue an injunction against the infringing action and requesting that damages be paid by the person committing the infringement. 
At this point, the patent registration procedures observed by the plaintiff will be particularly relevant, as court determine instances of infringement in reference to the language used in the patent itself, as opposed to visual or performance comparisons of examples of the patent in physical use.
In addition to providing for legal recourse against intellectual property thieves, the patent registration process is also designed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to prevent patent applicants acting in good faith from conflicting with each others’ intellectual property claims. 
The USPTO offers prospective applicants a patent search function in order to either determine that their finished discovery is indeed original and bears no significant resemblances to preexisting discoveries, or to find a promising direction for the beginning of the invention process. 
The agency provides the USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database for patent search inquiries. Patents registered after 1976 are maintained in the Database in a “full text” format, which may be accessed by a “quick,” “advanced,” or number-based patent search. For a patent search conducted from 1790, when federal intellectual property protection first went into practice, to the present, information can be accessed as images in a TIFF format.