If you believe that you have invented something new and unique, filing for legal protection with a patent can be one of the most important things that you do in order to ensure that you are able to capitalize and profit off of your innovations. Without a patent, you are leaving your intellectual property exposed for anyone to utilize, and unless you are intentionally leaving it as open source, may have serious and unintended impacts to your own success. Contact The Patent Professor immediately to discuss filing a patent in West Palm Beach, and learn more about what this process will look like by reading below.

How The Patent Professor Can Help

Innovation and invention can be complex and time-consuming, but something that new inventors may not realize is that protecting these innovations can be just as complicated as developing them. This is because the United States Patent and Trademark Office has a complex application process designed to protect existing patents while encouraging future innovation by granting legal rights for inventors. The Patent Professor has over 20 years of experience helping clients get the patent approval they are hoping for so that they can take the next step with their inventions and begin to capitalize on it. We will help you complete your application, navigate the complex system of the USPTO, and ensure that your invention is properly handled through this entire process, in addition to helping you understand your rights as a patent holder and that you take full advantage of the protections you are granted.

Should I File a Patent?

There are some basic questions that you must first answer “yes” to in order to determine whether or not you should move forward with filing for patent protection in the United States. According to the USPTO: “any person who ‘invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent,’ subject to the conditions and requirements of the law.” Take a look below for a few more questions that can help you find your answer:
  • Is your invention unique?
  • Is your invention useful?
  • Is your invention non-obvious?
A unique invention is one that does not exist in any other context. This determines that you are not copying an existing patent. Ensuring that a patent is useful is another important step, to be sure that the Patent Office is not bogged down processing legal protections for useless inventions that will serve no benefit. Finally, your invention must be determined to be “non-obvious,” meaning that it is not something that is a simple, incremental improvement or minor change to an existing innovation. These requirements are all in place to encourage innovation over simple, linear improvements to existing products.

Types of Patents in the United States

There are three main patent designations in the United States that each pertains to very different types of innovations. Generally, a patent has a 20-year period of protection for the patent owner, unless otherwise stated.

Utility Patent

A utility patent is a patent that applies to any invention that is “useful,” such as a machine, process, composition, or manufacture. Under this designation, there are many sub-categories that further clarify the nature of the utility. Utility patents are the most common patent applications that the USPTO receive, and are given for a wide range of uses. A composition may refer to a new material or chemical, and could even cover something like a specific process with which to carry out an existing thing like painting a certain surface.

Design Patent

Design patents are much different than utility patents for a variety of reasons; primarily, that the item up for a design patent can not have a function, only a certain appearance. In some cases, there may be overlap and the applicant may need to seek a utility patent in addition to the design patent, but on its own, a design patent only addresses the unique appearance. For example, Apple has many design patents for the appearance of its products that exist entirely separately from its utility patents that are applied to the same products. Design patents are grated 14-year terms.

Plant Patent

A plant patent is, as you would guess, for a unique plant (not including tubers). In order for this plant to qualify for a patent, it must be able to be reproduced asexually, from a process of hybridization, NOT from seed, pod, or another organic reproduction method. For example, a new plant may be produced by grafting, a method by which two plants can be combined in order to create a new, hybridized species. If the plant is produced by natural means, it will not be eligible for patent protection.

Provisional Applications for Patents

In many cases, an inventor may not have all of the required information compiled for their application but knows that their innovation will qualify once this information is complete. In these cases, we will suggest that you submit a provisional application. Upon submitting this provisional application, you will be granted a 12-month period of limited protections where you will be able to mark your products as “Patent Pending,” and continue developing your invention and compiling the information necessary to receive a full patent. It is important to understand the limitations of this provisional application, as well as being aware that if you miss the window to apply for a full patent, you will be unable to ever get full patent protections for the innovation in question.

The Patent Application Process

The patent application process is extremely complicated, which is as much a benefit as it is a burden. One of the main reasons for the complexity is to ensure that all applications are examined in detail, and that no existing patents are infringed upon by granting new protections to something that borrows from currently-protected inventions. We will, therefore, begin the application process by doing extensive research into existing patents before making a recommendation of whether or not applying is a good idea. After our research into existing patents, we will then begin working on your actual patent application or submitting a provisional application to protect your work immediately. The application process is extremely complicated and involved, but when you are working with an experienced Patent Attorney in West Palm Beach, you can focus on your work while we focus on the details and paperwork. Once your application is processed and approved by the USPTO, we will make sure that you have a full understanding of your rights so that you can capitalize on your intellection property as aggressively as possible.

Contact The Patent Professor Now

Before beginning your application process, contact The Patent Professor to learn more about how our experience can be an enormous asset to your own invention. We will work to handle as much procedural stress as possible so that you are able to focus on your innovations, and how you will be able to monetize your work once you are afforded legal protections.