What is a patent? A United States Of America Patent is actually a “grant of rights” for a limited period. In layman’s terms, it is a contract in which the U . S . government expressly permits an individual or company to monopolize a certain concept for a very limited time.
Typically, our government frowns upon any kind of monopolization in commerce, because of the belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. An excellent example is the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some years ago in to the many regional phone companies. The federal government, particularly the Justice Department (the governmental agency which prosecutes monopoly or “antitrust” violations), believed that Bell Telephone was an unfair monopoly and forced it to relinquish its monopoly powers over the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the government permit a monopoly by means of How To Submit A Patent? The government makes an exception to encourage inventors to come forward making use of their creations. In doing so, the government actually promotes advancements in science and technology.
To begin with, it needs to be clear for you exactly how a patent behaves as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the property owner in the patent to avoid anyone else from producing the merchandise or using the process covered by the patent. Consider Thomas Edison and his awesome most well-known patented invention, the lighting bulb. Together with his patent for that light, Thomas Edison could prevent any other person or company from producing, using or selling light bulbs without his permission. Essentially, no one could contend with him within the bulb business, so therefore he possessed a monopoly.
However, to be able to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison needed to give something in return. He required to fully “disclose” his invention for the public.
To acquire a U . S . Patent, an inventor must fully disclose what the invention is, the actual way it operates, and the best way known through the inventor to really make it.It is actually this disclosure to the public which entitles the inventor to some monopoly.The logic for doing this is that by promising inventors a monopoly in return for his or her disclosures for the public, inventors will continually make an effort to develop new technologies and disclose these to the general public. Providing all of them with the monopoly enables them to profit financially through the invention. Without it “tradeoff,” there would be few incentives to build up technologies, because with no patent monopoly an inventor’s work will bring him no financial reward.Fearing their invention will be stolen when they make an effort to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul regarding their invention, and also the public would never benefit.
The grant of rights within a patent will last for a small period.Utility patents expire two decades after they are filed.If this type of was untrue, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there would be serious consequences. For instance, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for your light, we may probably must pay about $300 to purchase a light bulb today.Without competition, there could be little incentive for Edison to improve upon his light bulb.Instead, after the Edison bulb patent expired, everybody was liberated to manufacture light bulbs, and several companies did.The vigorous competition to do that after expiration in the Edison patent ended in higher quality, lower costing bulbs.
Varieties of patents. You can find essentially three types of patents which you ought to know of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent pertains to inventions which have a “functional” aspect (put simply, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it genuinely “does” something).Quite simply, the thing which is different or “special” about the invention must be for a functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention must also fall within at least one in the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Remember that virtually any physical, functional invention will fall into at least one of those categories, so that you will not need to be worried about which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: imagine a “machine” as a thing that accomplishes a task as a result of interaction of its physical parts, such as a can opener, a car engine, a fax machine, etc.It is the combination and interconnection of such physical parts with which we have been concerned and which can be protected by the Inventhelp Office Locations.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” needs to be thought of as things that accomplish a job just like a machine, but minus the interaction of numerous physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may appear to be similar in many cases, you can distinguish both by considering articles of manufacture as more simplistic things which typically have no moving parts. A paper clip, as an example is an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a job (holding papers together), but is clearly not a “machine” because it is a simple device which does not rely on the interaction of numerous parts.
C) Process: a way of performing something through several steps, each step interacting in some way with a physical element, is known as a “process.” An activity can be a new approach to manufacturing a known product or can also be a whole new use to get a known product. Board games are generally protected being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions like pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds such as soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and the like could be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes are often protected in this manner.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of your object, rather than its “utility” or function, which is protected by way of a utility patent. In other words, if the invention is actually a useful object that includes a novel shape or overall appearance, a design patent might provide the appropriate protection. To prevent infringement, a copier would need to produce a version that does not look “substantially just like the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the shape and overall appearance without infringing the style patent.
A provisional patent application is really a step toward obtaining a utility patent, in which the invention might not yet be ready to get yourself a utility patent. Put simply, when it seems as if the invention cannot yet obtain a utility patent, the provisional application may be filed inside the Patent Office to establish the inventor’s priority for the invention.As the inventor will continue to develop the invention making further developments which allow a utility patent to become obtained, then your inventor can “convert” the provisional application to a full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for that date if the provisional application was initially filed.
A provisional patent has several advantages:
A) Patent Pending Status: Probably the most well known benefit of a Provisional Patent Application is that it allows the inventor to immediately begin marking the item “patent pending.” It has a period-proven tremendous commercial value, similar to the “as seen in the media” label which can be placed on many products. An item bearing both of these phrases clearly possesses a commercial marketing advantage from the very beginning.
B) Ability to increase the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has twelve months to “convert” the provisional into a “full blown” utility application.In that year, the inventor should try to commercialize the merchandise and assess its potential. If the product appears commercially viable in that year, then your inventor is motivated to convert the provisional application in to a utility application.However, unlike a normal utility application which can not be changed in any way, a provisional application could have additional material included in it to improve it upon its conversion within one year.Accordingly, any helpful tips or tips that had been obtained from the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization from the product may be implemented and protected at that time.
C) Establishment of a filing date: The provisional patent application offers the inventor with a crucial “filing date.” In other words, the date the provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, even for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for obtaining a utility patent. Once you are certain that your invention is a potential candidate to get a utility patent (because it fits within among the statutory classes), you need to then move ahead to assess whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” Those two requirements are essentially concerned with whether your invention is new, and when so, whether there is a substantial distinction between it and similar products within the related field.
A) Novelty: To obtain a utility patent, you must initially determine whether your invention is “novel”. Quite simply, can be your invention new?Have you been the initial person to possess thought of it? For instance, if you were to apply for a patent on the light bulb, it appears quite clear which you would not entitled to a patent, considering that the light bulb will not be a new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving the application, would reject it based on the reality that Edison invented the light bulb many years ago. In rejecting your patent application, the Patent Office would actually cite the Edison bulb patent against you as relevant “prior art” (prior art is everything “known” prior to your conception from the invention or everything proven to the general public several year prior to deciding to file a patent application for that invention).
To your invention to become novel with regards to other inventions on earth (prior art), it has to just be different in some minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel spanning a similar invention.Should you invent a square bulb, your invention would actually be novel when compared to Edison light bulb (since his was round/elliptical). If the patent office were to cite the round Edison light bulb against your square one as prior art to demonstrate that your invention had not been novel, they would be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which can be identical to yours in every single way your invention lacks novelty and is not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is extremely simple to overcome, since any slight variation in good shape, size, blend of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, although the invention is novel, it could fail another requirement mentioned previously: “non-obviousness.” So, in the event that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, do not celebrate yet — it is harder to satisfy the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As stated before, the novelty requirement is definitely the easy obstacle to beat inside the quest for a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the sole requirement in order to satisfy, then just about everything conceivable may be patented as long as it differed slightly from all of previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a more difficult, complex requirement must be satisfied after the novelty question for you is met. This second requirement is called “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states partly that although an invention and the related prior art may not be “identical” (which means the invention is novel with respect to the prior art), the invention may nevertheless be unpatentable when the differences between it and the related prior art would be considered “obvious” to a person having ordinary skill in the area of the specific invention.
This is in fact the Patent and Trademark Office’s method of subjectively judging the “quality” of your invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or not — it is actually almost always quite evident whether any differences exist between your invention as well as the prior art.On this point there is not any room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there exists quite a bit of room for various opinions, since the requirement is inherently subjective: different people, including different Examiners at the Patent Office, will have different opinions regarding whether the invention is really obvious.
Some common samples of things which are certainly not usually considered significant, and therefore which are usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to make something much lighter; changing the size or color; combining items of what type commonly found together; substituting one well known component for another similar component, etc.
IV. What is considered prior art from the Patent Office?
The patent laws, specifically 35 U.S.C. section 102, outline eight major types of prior art which may be used to prevent you from getting a patent. Quite simply, it defines exactly those ideas that the PTO can cite against you in an effort to prove that your invention will not be actually novel or even to demonstrate that your invention is obvious. These eight sections could be split up into an arranged and understandable format comprising two main categories: prior art that is dated before your date of “invention” (thus showing that you are currently not the initial inventor); and prior art which extends back prior to your “filing date” (thus showing which you may have waited very long to submit for a patent).
A) Prior art which goes back before your date of invention: It could appear to sound right that when prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you must not be entitled to obtain a patent on that invention as you would not truly become the first inventor. Section 102(a) in the patent law specifically describes the points which bring prior art if they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in the United States: Any evidence that your invention was “known” by others, in america, just before your date of invention. Even when there is no patent or written documentation showing that your invention was known in america, the PTO can still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty if they can reveal that your invention was generally recognized to the general public just before your date of invention.
2) Public use in america: Use by others of the invention you are attempting to patent in public places in america, just before your date of invention, may be held against your patent application by the PTO. This ought to make clear sense, since if someone else was publicly using the invention even before you conceived of it, you obviously should not be the initial and first inventor from it, and you do not should get a patent for this.
3) Patented in the United States or abroad: Any U . S . or foreign patents which issued before your date of invention and which disclose your invention will be used against your patent application through the PTO. For example, believe that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO may use any patents which disclose the same lobster de-shelling tool, United States Of America or foreign, which issued before June 1, 2007 (your date of invention) against your patent application.
4) Published publicly in United States or abroad: Any United States or foreignprinted publications (such as books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published before your date of invention will keep you from acquiring a patent.Again, the reasoning here is that if your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you definitely are not the very first inventor (since another person considered it before you) and you are not eligible for patent into it.
B)Prior art which goes back prior to your filing date: As noted above, prior art was considered everything known prior to your conception of the invention or everything proven to the general public several year before your filing of any patent application. Therefore that in numerous circumstances, even though you were the first one to have conceived/invented something, you may be unable to obtain a patent into it if it has entered the world of public knowledge and over twelve months has gone by between that point and your filing of the patent application. The purpose of this rule would be to persuade folks to try to get patents on their own inventions as soon as possible or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) of the patent law defines specifically those types of prior art which may be used against you being a “one-year bar” as follows:
1) Commercial activity in america: If the invention you intend to patent was sold or offered for sale in the United States several year prior to deciding to file a patent application, then you definitely are “barred” from ever getting a patent on the invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of your own invention on January 1, 2008, and offer it on the market on January 3, 2008, in an effort to raise some funds to apply for a patent. You have to file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (1 year from your day you offered it for sale).Should you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for instance, the PTO will reject the application to be barred as it was offered for sale several year prior to your filing date.This also is the case if a person apart from yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still which you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but failed to sell or offer it for sale publicly.You simply kept it to yourself.Also think that on February 1, 2008, another person conceived of the invention and began selling it. This starts your 1 year clock running!If you do not file a patent on your own invention by February 2, 2009, (one year from your date the other person began selling it) then you definitely also is going to be forever barred from obtaining a patent. Note that this provision in the law prevents you against acquiring a patent, despite the fact that there is not any prior art going back to before your date of conception and you also are indeed the initial inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), mainly because the invention was accessible to people for over twelve months before your filing date due to the other person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your chances of getting a patent even if you are the first inventor and also have satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in the United States: If the invention you intend to How Do You Get A Patent was utilized in the usa by you or another several year before your filing of the patent application, then you are “barred” from ever getting a patent on the invention. Typical samples of public use are once you or another person display and use the invention in a trade exhibition or public gathering, on television, or anywhere else where the public has potential access.The public use need not be one which specifically plans to make the public conscious of the invention. Any use which is often potentially accessed by the public will suffice to start the main one year clock running (but a secret use will often not invoke usually the one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in america or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or some other printed publication on your part or by someone else, offered to the public in the United States or abroad more than one year before your filing date, will stop you from acquiring a patent on your invention.Remember that even a write-up published by you, concerning your own invention, begins the main one-year clock running.So, for instance, if you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it all out, this could start the main one-year clock running.So too would usually the one-year clock start running to suit your needs when a complete stranger published a printed article about the topic of your invention.
4) Patented in the United States or abroad: In case a United States Of America or foreign patent covering your invention issued spanning a year prior to your filing date, you will be barred from getting a patent. Compare this with all the previous section regarding United States Of America and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) from the patent law, you happen to be prohibited from acquiring a patent when the filing date of another patent is sooner than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which we have been discussing here, you are unable to get yourself a patent upon an invention that was disclosed in another patent issued over last year, even when your date of invention was prior to the filing date of the patent.