Patents are granted to protect something you invented. When you receive a patent, the federal government will prohibit others from creating and selling your invention. If they do, they will be doing so with your permission, or you will have grounds to file a lawsuit.
Patents exist to give financial and economic incentives to inventors like yourself. If you invent something of value, you are entitled to reap the financial benefits of it. There are three types of patents:
- Utility Patents
- Design Patents
- Plant Patents
Utility patents are the most common form of a patent. They apply specifically to machines, chemicals, and processes. “A process” does not apply to a method used in your business. Most businesses have several strategies to help them run efficiently. However, you cannot seek a patent for them.
This is the only way to patent a business method: You can seek a patent for a technological invention. Your technological innovation may be required in your business method. If this is the case, no one will be able to use your invention. And therefore, they won’t be able to utilize your business method either.
Can I Get A Patent For My Invention?
This is where the process begins to become more complex. Why? To obtain a patent, you (or your attorney) must prove that what you invented is unlike other inventions. Even a piece of your design cannot mimic or infringe upon someone else’s patented property.
It is also important to note that you cannot patent something that is being used publicly. Secondly, you have to prove that your invention is “non-obvious.” This is another reason why having an attorney represent you is so important.
Arguments can be made for or against your invention. A non-obvious invention is unique. But what if the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) says it isn’t?
The USPTO has thousands of examiners to evaluate your invention. And hundreds of thousands of patents aren’t granted. Some larger businesses receive thousands of patents a year.
If you believe you have a legitimate claim for a patent, an attorney will be critical. This applies to drafting the application and possibly appealing later on.
Legal & Useful
Lastly, you will also have to demonstrate that your invention is legal and useful. Many drugs are not legal to purchase or ingest without a prescription, yet drugs can be patented. Those that are successful will have shown they have a medicinal benefit.
Patent law is a specialized practice of law. The attorneys at Neve Webb do not practice directly in patent law, but work with many attorneys and law firms that do. It is important that your business lawyers have a familiarity with patent law to know when to associate with patent counsel.
Intellectual property is every bit as valuable—if not more so—than a tangible product or service. Your intellectual property deserves to be protected by professional and knowledgeable business law attorneys for the good of your business and the people who depend on you. Contact Neve Webb to schedule your consultation.
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