If you are looking for a patent attorney in Orlando, Florida, contact The Patent Professor today. We have over 20 years of experience with successful patent applications, and we are looking forward to helping you realize your dreams with ease. Applying for a patent can be a complicated process, and dealing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office can be opaque and confusing. Submit your application with confidence, knowing that you have the best professionals making sure every box is checked, every question is answered, and every form is included. Often, a perfectly-legitimate invention will be rejected because of incomplete applications or slight mistakes in the application procedure—protect your invention as quickly as possible with our help.
What Is a Patent?
A patent is a legal tool that protects inventors from having their ideas copied for a period of time. Patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have a set term limit for this protection, which is intended to give the inventors ample time to capitalize on their intellectual property without fear of knock-off products appearing in the market. Patents cover a range of inventions, and are broken down into three designations: utility, design, and plant. Learn more about each in the following section. In order for a patent to be issued by the USPTO, it must meet stringent criteria that ensure that the patent will not infringe on another patent or restrict the market beyond the intended protection. The invention in question must be determined to be unique, useful, and cannot be obvious or common knowledge. If the application meets these requirements, the application will be approved.
A utility, according to the USPTO, includes any invention that is used. For a patent to be issued, the utility must be determined to be novel, unique, and useful. Therefore, a utility can be a machine like a gadget, vehicle, or item, a unique chemical compound, or a specific process. Utility patents will not be issued for anything that is “obvious” in that it is something that is commonly known, or “non-novel,” meaning it cannot be a slight alteration of an existing object that does not clearly designate it as a separate utility. The same goes for a process—a patent will not be issued for washing your dishes with traditional tools but in a slightly different order, even though it is a process. Utility patents have a 20-year term that grants the patent holder a significant amount of time to focus on improving their invention without fear of competitors diluting the market with the exact same utility.
A design patent is issued for purely-aesthetic aspects of a product. If the design serves a specific and unique function as well as have a unique appearance, it may be considered a utility, or may require a patent be issued for both a design AND a utility. This is not uncommon. Design patents are issued to protect the patent-holder from competitors replicating the appearance of their product, which can confuse consumers and erode trust in their product. If the design or appearance of the product is determined to be completely unique, then it may be eligible for a patent. Design patents are issued for 14 years.
The third type of patent option is a plant patent, and is eligible for any unique plant that has been produced asexually (excluding tubers). Asexual reproduction may include grafting or any other form of hybridization, and the resulting plant must be unique to any existing patent or plant. If the plant grows from a germinated seed or pod, it has been produced naturally and therefore will not qualify for a patent. Potatoes and other root plants are not eligible for patent protection. If you are issued a plant patent, you will have a 20-year term in order to capitalize on your intellectual property.
Provisional Application for Patent
If you have developed a novel plant, design, or utility, but are only in a preliminary stage, you may want to consider a provisional application. A provisional application does not provide you with the same protections as a patent, but instead grants inventors a 12-month period to develop the invention into something that is defined enough to be issued a patent. During this 12-month period, you are allowed to designate your product as “patent pending,” but if you fail to apply for a full patent within that period, you will be ineligible to do so at all. Your attorney may suggest submitting a provisional application initially, so that you have more time to gather the required information to fully protect your invention.
Important Facts About Patents in Orlando
Orlando is one of two cities in the US to have a National Entrepreneur Center. Because of that and the local economy, Orlando is a great place for entrepreneurs. There are many individuals throughout the city in need of patents. Unfortunately, not all of the people who need patents file for them. There are several reasons for this, and one reason is a lack of understanding. There are a few important facts about patents that can help you get the protection you deserve.
Your Patent is Only Valid in the U.S.
You can seek patents in other countries. However, you have to file for patents in each country. They all have different requirements for their patents. There is a treaty that streamlines patent applications in certain countries, but you still need to apply for the protection. It’s also possible for a patent to only offer protection in a certain territory or area. By speaking with a patent attorney in Orlando, you can learn more about the restrictions of your patent.
A Patent is Only Valid for a Certain Amount of Time
If you think your patent lasts forever, you are mistaken. A patent is only good for a set period of time. Typically, it expires 20 years after your filing date. This isn’t always the case, but you can check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to find out if your patent is still valid.
Patents Can Protect a Variety of Inventions
In fact, patents don’t only protect inventions. They also protect ideas. The idea can be as simple as a new cooking pan, or something as complex as new nanotechnology. Before you apply for your patent, you should make sure you meet all the basic requirements. This can save you from wasting your time on the application process.
No One Enforces it for You
After you receive your patent, the battle is only halfway over. You also need to enforce the patent; no organization does that for you. If you don’t file a lawsuit against someone who infringes on your patent, they can continue to profit from your idea. To hold someone else responsible for their infringement, you must file a civil claim. For many, this means working with an attorney. They can walk you through the process and try to collect compensation for your damages.
Patents Can Be Sold
If you no longer want rights to your patent, you can sell it. In some cases, this is the best way to quickly make money on your invention. You can still profit without giving up all of your rights. If you grant someone licensing rights, you can make money every time they sell your product or service. This means you don’t need to be responsible for the marketing or production of your invention. A licensing agreement details all of the specifics of the licensee rights. For instance, it can limit their rights to a certain time period. It can also prevent them from selling your invention in a certain area.
Should I File For a Patent?
If you believe that you have a novel and useful invention, it is in your best interest to apply for a patent to protect your intellectual property. The process itself can be complicated and confusing, but The Patent Professor has extensive experience with patents and patent applications and will be happy to guide you through the process. Contact us today for an initial consultation so that we can determine the validity of your patent claim, the necessary next steps, and give you peace of mind to ensure that your invention will receive the protection you deserve.
How Can The Patent Professor Help Me?
Before you apply for a patent in Orlando, contact The Patent Professor to determine your best course of action. Our history of successful patent applications means that we are able to understand your circumstance, identify the most effective course of action, and guide you to a favorable outcome simply and easily. The application process can be daunting and intimidating, but with our assistance you can move forward with confidence. Too often, perfectly legitimate inventions are denied patents because of incomplete applications, omitted information, or other simple procedural errors. The USPTO is not available to assist you with your application, so a rejection may be a simple fix but can seem very overwhelming. Avoid unnecessary rejections and confusion with our help.