In the U.S., a patent is granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for any inventions that meet a set of strict criteria. Patents are used to protect the inventor’s innovation by prohibiting others from developing and/or utilizing the design for their own benefit without authorization. Patents are enforceable for a set period of time and were designed to protect the intellectual property of innovators.
At Ghaneie Law, we help inventors safeguard their intellectual property by effectively securing patent protection. From initial filing, post-grant proceedings, to infringement, our team of experienced professionals are available now to help guide you every step of the way.
A patent is a useful tool issued by the USPTO once patent protection is granted. Once a patent is granted, it gives the patent owner the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, importing, or otherwise benefitting from your unique and novel invention.
It’s important to note that patent protection provides the right to exclude, which means the person or business holding the patent has the right to seek patent enforcement when they believe patent infringement has occurred. The USPTO is not an enforcement agency, but rather a mechanism for granting the rights of patent protection to the patent holders. If the process of seeking patent protection isn’t performed correctly, the patent obtained might not adequately protect the invention.
Patentable subject matter is extremely broad and diverse. Patents can be granted for articles of manufacture, processes, machines, and compositions of matter. In more general terms, those categories often encompass new products, services, business methods, software, and materials. The process for achieving lasting patent protection involves both legal and technical expertise.
There are three different types of patents that may apply to your unique situation including:
Utility Patents: Covering the utility, or use, of an invention, as well as the various elements of the device or system itself, utility patents are very effective for providing all-around protection. Utility patents last for up to 20 years and require periodic maintenance fees.
Design Patents: Design patents apply to the new and original design or aesthetics of an invention. Since they will typically only protect the design of an object, they are generally less expensive to obtain than a utility patent. Design patents last for 15 years from the patent issue date and do not require maintenance fees.
Plant Patents: While utility and design patents are most common, plant patents are available for those who invent new varieties of plants that are capable of asexually reproducing. However, while plant patents are less frequently sought after, they can be very valuable assets. Plant patents last for 20 years and do not require maintenance fees.
Knowing how best to utilize the laws governing the USPTO’s process, our patent attorneys and agents work diligently to obtain the most advantageous protection possible.
The American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) describes that any person or business who invents or discovers new and useful processes, machines, manufacturing, or compositions can seek patent protection. It also applies to new and useful improvements to those items falling within these categories.
The important words here are “novel” and “useful”. Useful implies that the invention has a degree of operability in order to qualify. Novel means the subject matter is can’t have been previously patented or otherwise already publicly available. There are many nuances here that our patent attorneys and agents use to help guide our clients to favorable outcomes.
Additionally, patents do not apply to laws of nature, abstract ideas, or what are termed “mere suggestions”. This means with a new idea, a complete and accurate description for the actual invention will be needed in order to apply for patent protection.
The Ghaneie Law team is composed of both registered patent attorneys and patent agents, all of whom have subject-matter-expertise in various scientific fields. We firmly believe our team’s diverse scientific backgrounds allow us to provide our clients with highly effective and valuable patent protection. To schedule a patent consultation, you may contact us by phone or through our website.