What is a patent? A U . S . Patent is essentially a “grant of rights” for a limited period. In layman’s terms, it is a contract where the United States government expressly permits an individual or company to monopolize a particular concept for a short time.
Typically, our government frowns upon any sort of monopolization in commerce, because of the belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. An excellent example will be the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some years back in to the many regional phone companies. The federal government, specifically the Justice Department (the governmental agency which prosecutes monopoly or “antitrust” violations), thought that Bell Telephone was an unfair monopoly and forced it to relinquish its monopoly powers over the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the us government permit a monopoly in the form of How To Register A Patent In The Usa? The us government makes an exception to encourage inventors to come forward with their creations. In doing so, the government actually promotes advancements in science and technology.
First of all, it should be clear to you exactly how a patent behaves as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the property owner in the patent to avoid anyone else from producing the item or utilizing the process protected by the patent. Think of Thomas Edison and his awesome most famous patented invention, the sunshine bulb. With his patent for your bulb, Thomas Edison could prevent every other person or company from producing, using or selling bulbs without his permission. Essentially, no person could contest with him in the light bulb business, and therefore he possessed a monopoly.
However, to be able to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison had to give something in exchange. He necessary to fully “disclose” his invention to the public.
To acquire a United States Patent, an inventor must fully disclose exactly what the invention is, how it operates, and the best way known from the inventor making it.It really is this disclosure for the public which entitles the inventor to a monopoly.The logic for doing this is that by promising inventors a monopoly in exchange for his or her disclosures to the public, inventors will continually strive to develop technologies and disclose those to the general public. Providing them with the monopoly allows them to profit financially from your invention. Without it “tradeoff,” there will be few incentives to produce technologies, because without a patent monopoly an inventor’s hard work would bring him no financial reward.Fearing that the invention will be stolen whenever they attempt to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul about their invention, and also the public would never benefit.
The grant of rights within a patent can last for a restricted period.Utility patents expire 20 years after they are filed.If the was untrue, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there will be serious consequences. For example, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for that light, we may probably have to pay about $300 to purchase a light bulb today.Without competition, there could be little incentive for Edison to boost upon his light bulb.Instead, once the Edison light patent expired, everybody was free to manufacture lights, and lots of companies did.The vigorous competition to do just that after expiration from the Edison patent resulted in better quality, lower costing bulbs.
Types of patents. You can find essentially three types of patents which you ought to know of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent applies to inventions which have a “functional” aspect (quite simply, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it genuinely “does” something).Put simply, the one thing that is different or “special” concerning the invention should be to get a functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention should also fall within a minumum of one in the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Take into account that virtually any physical, functional invention will fall under a minumum of one of these categories, so that you need not be concerned with which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: imagine a “machine” as a thing that accomplishes an activity as a result of interaction of their physical parts, for instance a can opener, a car engine, a fax machine, etc.It will be the combination and interconnection of those physical parts with which our company is concerned and which can be protected through the Inventhelp Success Stories.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” needs to be thought of as things which accomplish a task like a machine, but without the interaction of varied physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may seem to be similar in many cases, you are able to distinguish both by thinking about articles of manufacture as increasing numbers of simplistic things that normally have no moving parts. A paper clip, for example is surely an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a job (holding papers together), but is clearly not just a “machine” as it is a simple device which fails to rely on the interaction of various parts.
C) Process: a way of performing something through several steps, each step interacting in some manner using a physical element, is actually a “process.” A process could be a new way of manufacturing a known product or could even be a whole new use for any known product. Board games are typically protected as being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions like pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds like soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and so on may be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes tend to be protected in this fashion.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of your object, as opposed to its “utility” or function, that is protected by a utility patent. Quite simply, if the invention is a useful object that has a novel shape or overall look, a design patent might give you the appropriate protection. To prevent infringement, a copier would need to create a version that does not look “substantially similar to the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the shape and overall appearance without infringing the style patent.
A provisional patent application is actually a step toward getting a utility patent, where invention may not yet be ready to obtain a utility patent. In other words, when it seems like the invention cannot yet get yourself a utility patent, the provisional application may be filed in the Patent Office to determine the inventor’s priority to the invention.As the inventor continues to develop the invention and make further developments that allow a utility patent to become obtained, then the inventor can “convert” the provisional application to a full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for that date when the provisional application was initially filed.
A provisional patent has several advantages:
A) Patent Pending Status: By far the most well known benefit from a Provisional Patent Application is it allows the inventor to instantly begin marking the product “patent pending.” It has a period-proven tremendous commercial value, similar to the “as seen on TV” label that is placed on many products. A product bearing both these phrases clearly possesses a commercial marketing advantage from the very beginning.
B) Ability to enhance the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has 1 year to “convert” the provisional into a “full blown” utility application.In that year, the inventor need to try to commercialize the item and assess its potential. When the product appears commercially viable in that year, then your inventor is motivated to convert the provisional application in to a utility application.However, unlike a typical utility application which cannot be changed by any means, a provisional application might have additional material added to it to improve it upon its conversion within one year.Accordingly, any helpful information or tips that were obtained through the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization from the product could be implemented and protected at that time.
C) Establishment of any filing date: The provisional patent application also provides the inventor using a crucial “filing date.” Put simply, the date the provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, even for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for obtaining a utility patent. When you are certain that your invention is actually a potential candidate for any utility patent (as it fits within one of the statutory classes), you should then move ahead to evaluate whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” Those two requirements are essentially concerned with whether your invention is totally new, and if so, whether there exists a substantial distinction between it and similar products inside the related field.
A) Novelty: To have a utility patent, you must initially determine whether your invention is “novel”. Put simply, can be your invention new?Are you currently the initial person to possess considered it? For instance, should you obtain a patent on the light, it seems like quite clear that you simply would not eligible for a patent, because the light will not be a whole new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving your application, would reject it dependant on the reality that Edison invented the lighting bulb many years ago. In rejecting your patent application, the Patent Office would actually cite the Edison light patent against you as relevant “prior art” (prior art is everything “known” just before your conception of the invention or everything known to people more than one year before you decide to file a patent application for that invention).
To your invention to be novel with regards to other inventions on earth (prior art), it should just be different in some minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel spanning a similar invention.If you were to invent a square light, your invention would really be novel when compared to the Edison bulb (since his was round/elliptical). In the event the patent office were to cite the round Edison bulb against your square one as prior art to show that the invention had not been novel, they would be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which is identical to yours in each and every way your invention lacks novelty and is not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is extremely easy to overcome, since any slight variation in shape, size, blend of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, although the invention is novel, it may fail another requirement mentioned previously: “non-obviousness.” So, in the event that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, tend not to celebrate yet — it is more challenging to fulfill the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As stated before, the novelty requirement will be the easy obstacle to get over within the pursuit of a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the sole requirement to satisfy, then almost anything conceivable could be patented so long as it differed slightly coming from all previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a far more difficult, complex requirement should be satisfied following the novelty question for you is met. This second requirement is known as “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states partly that although an invention and also the related prior art may not be “identical” (which means that the invention is novel with regards to the prior art), the invention may nevertheless be unpatentable if the differences between it and also the related prior art will be considered “obvious” to someone having ordinary skill in the field of the actual invention.
This really is in fact the Patent and Trademark Office’s way of subjectively judging the “quality” of an invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or not — it is almost always quite evident whether any differences exist involving the invention as well as the prior art.With this point there is not any room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there exists a large amount of room for many different opinions, considering that the requirement is inherently subjective: differing people, including different Examiners on the Patent Office, may have different opinions regarding whether the invention is truly obvious.
Some common types of items that are certainly not usually considered significant, and so which can be usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to help make something much lighter; changing the size or color; combining pieces of what type commonly found together; substituting one well-known component for another similar component, etc.
IV. What exactly is considered prior art from the Patent Office?
The patent laws, specifically 35 U.S.C. section 102, outline eight major kinds of prior art which could be used to stop you from getting a patent. Quite simply, it defines exactly those ideas that the PTO can cite against you in an attempt to prove that the invention will not be in reality novel or even to demonstrate that your invention is obvious. These eight sections could be divided into an organized and understandable format comprising two main categories: prior art that is dated before your date of “invention” (thus showing that you are not the very first inventor); and prior art which dates back just before your “filing date” (thus showing which you might have waited very long to file for a patent).
A) Prior art which extends back prior to your date of invention: It could appear to seem sensible that in case prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you should not be entitled to obtain a patent on that invention because you would not truly function as the first inventor. Section 102(a) of the patent law specifically describes those things which can be used as prior art when they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in the United States: Any evidence that your particular invention was “known” by others, in the United States, prior to your date of invention. Even if you have no patent or written documentation showing that your invention was known in the United States, the PTO may still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty when they can show that your invention was generally proven to people prior to your date of invention.
2) Public use in the United States: Use by others in the invention you are attempting to patent in public places in the usa, just before your date of invention, may be held against your patent application from the PTO. This should make clear sense, since if somebody else was publicly making use of the invention even before you conceived of it, you obviously should not be the initial and first inventor of it, and you may not deserve to receive a patent for this.
3) Patented in america or abroad: Any U . S . or foreign patents which issued just before your date of invention and which disclose your invention is going to be used against your patent application from the PTO. As an example, assume that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO are able to use any patents which disclose the same lobster de-shelling tool, United States or foreign, which issued before June 1, 2007 (your date of invention) against your patent application.
4) Published publicly in United States or abroad: Any United States Of America or foreignprinted publications (such as books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published before your date of invention will stop you from acquiring a patent.Again, the reasoning here is that if your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you definitely are not the very first inventor (since somebody else thought of it prior to deciding to) and also you usually are not eligible for patent into it.
B)Prior art which dates back just before your filing date: As noted above, prior art was defined as everything known before your conception of the invention or everything recognized to the public multiple year before your filing of any patent application. What this means is that in many circumstances, even if you were the first one to have conceived/invented something, you will end up unable to acquire a patent into it when it has entered the realm of public knowledge and more than one year has passed between that time as well as your filing of any patent application. The purpose of this rule would be to persuade folks to get patents on their inventions as quickly as possible or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) in the patent law defines specifically those kinds of prior art which can be used against you as being a “one-year bar” the following:
1) Commercial activity in america: If the invention you wish to patent was sold or offered available for sale in the United States more than one year prior to deciding to file a patent application, then you are “barred” from ever obtaining a patent on your invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of your own invention on January 1, 2008, and present it available for sale on January 3, 2008, in an attempt to raise some funds to apply for a patent. You have to file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (twelve months from the day you offered it available for sale).In the event you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for example, the PTO will reject your application to be barred since it was offered for sale multiple year just before your filing date.This too would be the case if somebody apart from yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still which you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but failed to sell or offer it available for sale publicly.You just kept it to yourself.Also assume that on February 1, 2008, another person conceived of your own invention and began selling it. This starts your one year clock running!If you do not file a patent on the invention by February 2, 2009, (one year through the date the other person began selling it) then you definitely also will be forever barred from obtaining a patent. Note that this provision from the law prevents you against acquiring a patent, despite the fact that there is absolutely no prior art dating back to before your date of conception and also you really are the first inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), for the reason that the invention was available to the public for more than twelve months before your filing date due to another person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your chances of acquiring a patent even when you are the first inventor and also have satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in the usa: If the invention you wish to Inventhelp Store Products was used in the United States on your part or any other more than one year before your filing of any patent application, then you certainly are “barred” from ever getting a patent on your invention. Typical types of public use are when you or somebody else display and utilize the invention at a trade show or public gathering, on tv, or somewhere else where the public has potential access.People use need not be one which specifically promises to create the public conscious of the invention. Any use which can be potentially accessed by the public will suffice to start usually the one year clock running (but a secret use will usually not invoke usually the one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in the United States or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or other printed publication on your part or by someone else, offered to the public in america or abroad several year before your filing date, will keep you from getting a patent on your invention.Note that even an article published by you, about your own invention, will begin the one-year clock running.So, for instance, should you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it all out, this would start the one-year clock running.So too would the main one-year clock start running to suit your needs in case a complete stranger published a printed article about the main topic of your invention.
4) Patented in the United States or abroad: If a U . S . or foreign patent covering your invention issued over a year just before your filing date, you will end up barred from obtaining a patent. Compare this using the previous section regarding United States and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) in the patent law, you happen to be prohibited from acquiring a patent when the filing date of another patent is earlier than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which our company is discussing here, you are unable to get a patent upon an invention which had been disclosed in another patent issued over last year, even though your date of invention was ahead of the filing date of the patent.