If you believe that you have an idea or invention worth patenting in New York, The Patent Professor has over 20 years of experience and will be happy to help you. Filing a patent can be a complicated process, but with the help of a Patent Lawyer in New York, you can get your patent submitted and your ideas protected simply and quickly. Working with the United States Patent and Trademark Office can be a complicated process, with extensive paperwork and confusing requirements for even the most seasoned inventor. Our team is here to take this pressure off of you — while we are working on your patent submission, you will be able to focus on your product and what will come next. Patents in the United States have a few distinct designations that you can see below, and read more to understand how The Patent Professor will work with you to protect your ideas and move you to the next step of this exciting time. Contact us today to begin the process of your patent submission.

What Is a Patent?

A patent is a license to an inventor that grants them exclusive rights to the production and sale of their invention for a set period of time. A patent is important for inventors so they can focus on developing, marketing, and ultimately profiting off of their unique idea without needing to worry about competing against “knock-off” companies and copycat products. Once a patent is filed, the patent-holder can feel comfortable discussing production and manufacturing with larger companies without worrying about their idea being stolen and replicated. The USPTO has a few separate patents that they issue depending on the type of invention and the application. Since a patent-holder is granted exclusivity for the process, plant, utility, or design, it must be determined that the invention is truly unique and does not exist in the public domain already, or is previously patented. The process includes determining the novelty, uniqueness, function, and non-obviousness of the invention. This process is extremely diligent so that any patent granted cannot be restrictive of any other existing product or invention.

Utility Patent

A utility patent is applied to any invention that has a specific usefulness or function. A utility can be a process, a chemical composition, a machine, or any physical and useful item that is not a plant (plants have their own patent application). As with any patent, the utility must be determined to be unique, non-obvious, useful, and not a simple alteration of an existing patent that would restrict any existing utilities from legal production and use. As an example: an inventor may be able to get a patent for an entirely new type of watering can, but could not make a simple alteration to an existing watering can and be granted legal rights to the minor change. An approved utility patent gives the inventor protection for 20 years.

Design Patent

A design patent protects appearance, but not the utility, of an invention or product. In order for a patent to be granted for a design, the design can not include any sort of useful function (if there is a useful function, the applicant may be eligible for both a utility and design patent, or simply a utility patent). A design patent includes things such as package appearance, color combinations, non-structural appearances, or anything else that is clearly unique to the item in a purely aesthetic context. For example: Microsoft holds a design patent for an electronic tablet and input device that is purely in relation to the way the tablet looks. They will additionally hold utility patents for this device, but the design patent simply restricts other companies from creating a tablet that looks like a Microsoft device. This protects the design patent holder from worrying about other companies replicating the appearance of their products, which will ultimately devalue their own brand trustworthiness. Design patents last for 14 years.

Plant Patent

A plant patent –as the name suggests– is reserved exclusively for novel and new plants (excluding tubers) that can be produced asexually. Asexual reproduction can be achieved by a variety of hybridization methods, and must be shown to be replicable by means other than natural reproduction. If a plant can be grown from seed, it is a result of natural reproduction, and will not be eligible for a patent. One method of hybridization that is common for plant patents is through grafting. Plant patents remain active for 20 years.

Provisional Application for Patent

If you intend to apply for a full patent but do not have all of the information or details for the complete application, your best option may be to apply for a provisional application. When you submit a provisional application for a patent, you are granted the status of “Patent Pending” for 12 months, which grants you the ability to market your invention as such. If you fail to submit a full patent application within this 12-month window, you will be unable to file for a full patent on your invention.

Should I Apply For a Patent?

If you believe that you have come up with a unique invention, plant, or design, contact the New York patent lawyers at The Patent Professor today to determine your next steps. If your idea is eligible for a patent, then you deserve to enjoy the legal protections provided by the USPTO while you work on capitalizing on your intellectual property.

Can The Patent Professor Help Me?

If you are considering filing a patent in New York, contact The Patent Professor today. We have over 20 years of experience in successful patent applications, and this experience can be a major asset to achieving a positive outcome for you. Making sure that you submit a complete patent application is imperative to ensuring your legal protection, and the USPTO does not work with applicants to explain how or why a patent may have been rejected. Submit with the confidence that you have a dedicated patent lawyer in New York in charge of your submission by working with The Patent Professor.