Intellectual property protection has been common in the business world with most entrepreneurs protecting their ideas from infringement. A patent is a right granted by the government to inventors to prevent others from using or selling the inventions without the owner’s consent. The patents owner has the legal right to sue anyone else who tries to use the idea for investment purposes. The patents are only valid within the United States, although 130 countries have agreed to sign an agreement to honor patents across the borders.
The process of filing patents can be complicated, lengthy, and expensive. Therefore, it is advisable to obtain a patent lawyer or an agent to who understands the filing process. Most abstract ideas that do not meet certain requirements of utility and novelty are not patentable. However, you can be sure of guaranteed rights to your invention if it consists of processes such as new technology or business method. The U.S government only issues patents to individual inventors and not to commercial entities, but the employees have the rights to sell their inventions to the employers.
The validity period for most patents is 20 years from the date the owner filed it. The patent holders are however required to file the patent with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) within one year after public disclosure or publishing of the product. The USPTO requires the necessary documentation and a proof of originality before they grant the inventor a patent.
Filing for a Patent
The patent system in the United States is quite complex, and it would require thorough research for anyone who does not have an attorney to complete the process. However, some lawyers from different patent law firms such as NK Patent Law.com would be the best option. The first step toward obtaining a patent involves conducting a search for any previous public disclosures of the invention. They search may also include printed publications or any foreign patents. After this, the investors need to determine the type of patent that they want to file.
Different types of patents include design patents, which covers the ornamental design for articles of manufacture or a plant patent given to anyone who discovers or reproduces a new variety of plant. The last one is the utility patent, which covers the function or any new and useful process. Once you have decided the type what you require, then you or your lawyer may file for the patent. The inventor should pay a fee during the filing process. The USPTO takes about 24.6 months to process the application and issue them to the inventors after which the inventor receives their approved patents. The patent holders should pay a maintenance fee and surcharges on time to prevent expiry of patents. You can learn more about that by visiting this website right here.
Getting a patent for your business increases its positive image and negotiating power. This is ideal especially for fundraisers and for raising the market value of a company. The inventor has the right to sell the invention thus gaining higher returns on investment. Additionally, businesses and anyone with an invention should consider getting a patent for their business as soon as possible to prevent rejection by USPTO.