You’ve got the idea of a lifetime. It’s innovative, interesting and, most of all…you can’t think of many people out there that have reached the same conclusion you have. What should you do next on your way to greatness?
Reaching out to patent attorneys isn’t a bad idea. With the Internet making it easier than ever to steal people’s ideas and get away with it scot-free, letting a patent lawyer guide you toward copyright is a smart first step to cover you down the road. Patent law is a complex field, one that provides you all sorts of ways of guarding your intellectual property while still leaving you room to grow. Whether you’re hungry for the international patent process or are completely new to what patent attorneys can do for you and your new idea, read below to brush up on the basics and get off on the right foot.
How can a patent look out for your better interests?
How Long Have Patents Been Around?
Patents are nothing new, not here or anywhere else. In fact, the very first American patent law was enacted all the way back in 1790, proceeding to pave the way for legal fallback in case someone’s product or idea was stolen by a third party. Intellectual property practice is a specialized legal field where you can find patent attorneys and consultants providing advice to all sorts of individuals and small business owners. Today the four ways to protect intellectual property are trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets.
How Have Patents Changed?
Did you know the USPTO issued over 300,000 patents back in 2016? As you can see, patents are only getting more common from here. According to legal analytics provided by Lex Machina, there were nearly 4,600 patent infringements suits filed that same year. While digital marketing makes it easy to reach out to lots of different people, it also makes it easy for unwanted attention to snag your product and attempt to sell it with you none the wiser.
What Kind Of Patents Are There?
The first thing you should find out when applying for a patent is which one suits you best. The USPTO defines three kinds of patents. You have utility patents, design patents and plant patents. The utility patent is by far the most common type of patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, with 90% of their patent documents falling under this category. The U.S. patent office receives six times as many applications than it did back in 1980.
How Long Do Patents Last?
Whether you’re copyrighting a small idea or a major concept to headline your brand, you want to know you can rely on this legal protection for a long time. Utility and plant patents issued after June 8th of 1995 expire 20 years from the first date of application. Design patents, in general, expire 14 years from the date of issue. It would also help to learn about Creative Commons copyright and all sorts of additional legal jargon on top of your application. Knowledge is power, after all, and the more you have…the better!
Do I Need To Talk To A Patent Attorney?
Patent attorneys are familiar with the questions, concerns and goals of the average person eager to protect what’s theirs. In order to receive a patent your invention has to meet three criteria. This is its usefulness, its novelty and its non-obviousness. This last one can seem a little odd, but all it means is how inventive it is compared to the competition. Unique packaging, for example, can involve the size or shape of a soft drink bottle. This makes it more eligible to be approved for a design patent.
Find a patent lawyer in Denver or a patent lawyer in Houston to keep your idea safe and your future bright!