Find the Right US Patent Lawyer Now!
A Good US Patent Lawyer Can Help You
If you are an inventor, it is in your interest to protect your invention from unauthorized use and distribution. Under United States patent law, a patent is given to an inventor so as to exclude other individuals and companies from "making, using, offering for sale or selling the invention" in the United States (note, a US patent does not offer overseas or foreign country patent protection, you must file for a patent in other countries for patent protection). Protecting an invention: a patent granted to an inventor protects their invention from unauthorized use.
In most cases, to get a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark office, the invention must be unique, new and unobvious. Patent inventorship must be established, because, unless the inventor assigns his rights to another person, only the actual inventor may make a patent application. Research into your idea releationship or similarity to existing patents is part of patent due diligence process that you should perform as a new patent applicant.
There are generally three invention types that can be patented. A utility patent describes an invention with a process or method that produces a concrete result, e.g. a machine, a chemical or biological composition or compound, or a clearly demonstrated improvement of an existing invention. It also must be thought to be "moderately useful" in the patent examiner's opinion in order to qualify for a utility patent. A second type of patent is referred to as a plant patent - a plant that is created by means of either selective breeding or genetic engineering and the plant itself must be novel and non-obvious. Naturally occurring compounds and substances, ideas, the laws of nature (i.e. physics, geometry, etc.), and mathematical calculations, cannot be patented. The third category is called a design patent. An application for a design patent must be for a novel, nonobvious and nonfunctional idea. Refer to this LegalMatch Law Library article on what can't be patented for more information.
Applications for patents must be made through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Along with an application fee payment the inventor submits a patent application form to the Patent and Trademark Office and attaches a plan or specific drawings and notations describing the proposed invention. The invention plan is required to follow the directions of a very rigid and specific form. After the application is reviewed, any objections or questions the Patent and Trademark Office has will be asked of the patent applicant.