A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing an invention for a limited period of years.
In order to get a patent, you must first file a patent application with the Patent Office in your country. In the US, that’s the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application must include a detailed description of the invention, as well as any other information that may be relevant to the assessment of the invention’s novelty and usefulness.
Once the application is filed, it will be examined by a patent examiner to determine whether it meets all the requirements for a patent. If the application is successful, a patent will be granted and you will have the exclusive right to use your invention for the duration of the patent.
The three types of patents an inventor can seek are utility, design, and plant patents. It’s also important to mention that there are several items that are not eligible for patent protection under any circumstance. They include:
- Ideas (this takes a lot of people by surprise!)
- Artistic, literary, or dramatic works
- Ways of conducting business
- Methods of playing a game
- Methods of medical treatment or diagnosing conditions
- Scientific theories or mathematical methods
- Biological processes (related to plant or animal variety inventions)
The best way to determine if the invention you’ve come up with qualifies for patent protection either in the United States or abroad is to speak with an experienced patent attorney. It’s our job to help clients review all aspects of their creation to determine not only if it’s unique and novel, but whether or not it could potentially fall into one of the categories that are listed above.
If you have questions about patent eligibility, our attorneys are available to offer assistance and guidance. Simply contact us at 888-666-0062 or click here to use our online scheduling tool to book a complimentary discovery session.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.