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FindLaw Guide on How to File for a Patent

FindLaw Guide on How to File for a Patent

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Published by FindLaw
A patent is a right granted to an inventor
by the federal government that permits the
inventor to exclude others from making,
selling or using the invention for a period of
time. The patent process can be complicated
and in this guide, you will learn about topics
like patent eligibility, the basic process to file
a patent, and different types of patents.
A patent is a right granted to an inventor
by the federal government that permits the
inventor to exclude others from making,
selling or using the invention for a period of
time. The patent process can be complicated
and in this guide, you will learn about topics
like patent eligibility, the basic process to file
a patent, and different types of patents.

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Published by: FindLaw on Sep 27, 2012
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05/13/2014

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A Thomson Reuters Business
The FindLaw Guide toHow to File a Patent
 
The FindLaw Guide to How to File a Patent
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 Te FindLaw Guide toHow to File a Patent 
Table of Contents
•
Introduction
•ShouldYouObtainaPatent?•IsYourInventionPatentable?•Whatarethedierenttypesofpatents?•Whatisthebasicprocesstoreceivingapatent?•ShouldIContactanAttorney?
Introduction
epatentapplicationprocesscanbeverycomplicated.Noteveryinventionreceivesapatent,anddierenttypesofinventionsmayqualifyfordierenttypesofpatents.Youshouldworkwithanexperiencedpatentattorneythroughouttheprocess,andFindLawanditsdirectoryofattorneysareheretohelp.
Should You Obtain a Patent?
Nowthatyouhavecreatedaninventionyoushoulddetermineiflingforapatentissomethingyouwanttodo.First,youshouldknowthatyoumaynotbeabletopatentyourinventionifapatentalreadyexistsfortheproductora verysimilarproduct.Youshouldconductapatentsearchtoseeifapatentalreadyexists.Ifapatentdoesnotexist,youshouldthinkaboutwhetheryourideahasthepotentialtobeprotable.Obtainingapatentcanbeveryexpensive,andthemarketingandproductionofanewproducthashighcostsaswell.Soyoushouldconsiderwhetheryourproducthasthepotentialtomakemoneyandrecoupthesecostsbeforebeginningthepatentapplicationprocess.Finally,youshouldconsiderthedownsidesoflingapatent.Onceyouobtainapatent,otherswillbefreetoexamineyourproductandpotentiallycopyorimproveit.Itcanbe veryexpensivetolitigatepatentinfringementlawsuitsandenforceyourpatentrights.
Is Your Invention Patentable?
Generally,determiningwhetheryourinventionispatentabledependsuponfivefactors:•TheinventionmustcoverasubjectmatterthatCongresshasdefinedaspatentable.Theseincludeany“newanduseful”processes,machines,andmanufactureorcompositionofmatter.•Theinventionmusthavea“utility”meaningthatitisuseful.Thisappliesonlyforutilitypatents.•Theinventionmustbe“novel”soyoucannotpatentanalreadyexistingorverysimilarinvention.•Theinventionmustbe“non-obvious”meaningitsuseorfunctioncan’tbesomethingthatissimplythenextlogicalstepofanalreadypatentedinvention.•Theinventionmustnothavebeen“disclosed”tothepublicpriortotheapplicationforthepatent.Forexample,ifyou’vewrittenanarticledescribingtheinventionbeforeyouapplyforthepatent,theUSPTOmaydenytheapplicationbecauseyou’vealreadydisclosedtheinventiontothepublic.
A patent is a right granted to an inventorby the ederal government that permits theinventor to exclude others rom making,selling or using the invention or a period otime. The patent process can be complicatedand in this guide, you will learn about topicslike patent eligibility, the basic process to flea patent, and dierent types o patents.
Page 1 o 2
 
The FindLaw Guide to How to File a Patent
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Youcanreadmoreaboutpatenteligibility andFAQs regardingpatenteligibility.
What are the different types of patents?
Whenyouarereadytoleforapatentyoushouldknowtherearethreegeneralcategoriesofpatents:utilitypatents,designpatents,andplantpatents.Utilitypatentsarethemostpopulartypeofpatentandcoverthingslikecomputersoware,engineeringmethods,machines,anythingthatismanufactured,pharmaceuticals,andchemicalcompounds.Autilitypatentisthemostpowerfulformofprotection;however,itisalsothemostdiculttoattain.eytypicallylast20yearsfromthedateofling.Designpatentsprotectnon-functional,purelyornamentaldesigns.Designpatentsaremoreeasilyissued,butlastonly14yearsandoerlimitedprotection.Forexample,anotherdesignhastohaveavirtuallyidenticaldesigntoinfringeuponapatenteddesign.Plantpatentsprotectasexuallyreproducedplantsandsexuallyreproducedplantseeds.esetypicallyarisefromscienticexperimentsandarerelativelyrare.
What is the basic process of receivinga patent?
inkofthepatentprocessasmovingthroughthreedoors.erstisthelargestdoorandtheeasiesttogothrough,thesecondisasmallerdoorthatsmoredicult,andthethirdisatinydoorthatisextremelydiculttosqueezethrough.Inthisanalogy,door#1ishavingpatentablesubjectmatter;door#2isnovelty(or“newness”oftheinvention);anddoor#3is“non-obviousness”(whethertheinventionisenoughofadeparturefrompreviouslyawardedpatents).Ifyourinventioncantthrougheachdoor,thepatentwillbegranted.Togetapatent,youmustleanapplicationwiththeU.S.PatentandTrademarkOce.Apatentapplicationisacomplexlegaldocument,bestpreparedbyonetrainedtopreparesuchdocuments.Applicationdocumentscanincludeaspecicationorawrittendescriptionoftheinvention,claimsidentifyingthescopeofprotectionthepatentwillreceive,anddrawingsifnecessarytoexplaintheinvention.Learnmoreabouttheapplicationprocesshere.
For More Information
Regardinglingforapatent,pleasevisitourwebsiteathttp://www.ndlaw.comorhttp://smallbusiness.ndlaw.com/intellectual-property/patents/
Send Us Your Feedback
We’relistening!Sendusyourfeedbackhere.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain in this publication isnot, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consultan attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Disclaimer |Terms|Privacy 
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STOP
Should I Talk to an Attorney?
epatentapplicationprocessiscomplicatedandwerecommendthatyouworkwithanexperiencedpatentattorneythroughouttheprocess.Evenifyouareonlyconsideringapatent,anattorneycanhelpyoudeterminingeligibilityandwhetheritisworth-whiletopursueapatent.FindapatentlawyernearyouwithFindlaw’sdirectoryofattorneys.

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