Patents offer inventors a way to safeguard their creations by giving them legal exclusivity for a specified period of time, usually 20 years from when the patent was filed. This timeline may differ between countries, but typically lasts 20 years after filing of the patent.
What is a Patent?
A patent is an official document that clearly and comprehensively describes an invention. These patents serve as invaluable resources for companies, researchers and academics alike to stay abreast of advances within their fields.
What Qualifies an Invention as Patentable?
To be considered for a patent, your invention must meet three criteria: novelty, usefulness and non-obviousness. These guarantees ensure your invention has not already been invented or is too obvious even to experts in the technology area.
Your invention must also be useful and provide a practical benefit to an existing product or service, or solve a problem previously thought impossible to fix. For instance, your invention could make or improve the way brooms work and be more effective than those already available on the market.
You must be able to clearly and concisely explain your invention to someone with no prior knowledge of either your invention or the field in which it applies. This includes outlining connections between previous ideas and concepts, as well as showing how your product or service interacts with other products or services.
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What is the Difference between a Design Patent and Utility Patent?
A design patent pertains to how an object looks, while a utility patent protects an invention which makes something more efficient – like creating a new broom with rounded corners or creating business processes that reduce costs and waste.
The patent process begins by filing an application at the appropriate patent office. Your description of your invention, how it’s made, as well as drawings showcasing all major components should be included. These sketches should clearly illustrate each primary part of your creation – its design and function – in detail.
How Can I Acquire a Patent?
The initial step is filing an application at the USPTO. This involves providing all required information as required by law and paying a fee to cover the cost of processing your patent application.
Once submitted, your invention will be assessed by an examiner who will judge its merits based on its description, drawing and claims. Your invention must meet certain criteria in order for this assessment to be granted a patent.
The USPTO offers a wealth of resources to help you better comprehend the patent process and what it’s like to be an applicant. These tools can assist in deciding if this path is suitable for you, and some even help locate a patent attorney who can guide you throughout each step.