Presented below are some brief answers to basic questions about patent law and intellectual property law generally. These answers are provided for general information only and do not constitute legal advice. You should contact us for complete information and advice regarding these and other legal topics as they relate to your specific situation.
If you have developed an invention, you have basically three options. (1) You can hire a typical intellectual property law firm (and pay very high rates); (2) You can prepare and file a patent application yourself (and face long odds of success); or (3) Hire Progress Patent Law. We can help you obtain strong patent protection at a much lower cost than the big firms. Call us today!
The first step is to file a complete patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, along with the required filing fee. This patent application is not some form that you fill out. It is a detailed legal document that requires care and expertise if it is to be done right. That's where we come in. Having successfully filed hundreds of patent applications, I have the expertise to do it right. Then, after filing your patent application, a patent examiner will examine it, usually rejecting it. This too is an area where an experienced patent attorney will help you to overcome the patent office's rejections and get to a strong issued patent.
U.S. patent law provides that an inventor is entitled to a patent for " any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof." (35 U.S.C. 101) This statute has been interpreted to mean that patent law exists to protect "anything under the sun made by man." To be patentable, the invention must be new, useful, and not obvious. Contact us to discuss this with respect to your invention.
Once you file your patent application, you are said to have "patent pending" status. Thereafter, it usually takes 2-3 years or more for your patent to issue, depending on how the process unfolds. Many factors can lengthen the term of patent pendency, and we can never guarantee that you will or will not ultimately be granted a patent, despite our best efforts.
The preparation of a patent application, and shepherding it through the Patent Office, involves significant time and effort, and there are many variables affecting cost that are beyond our control. While the costs are likely to be in the thousands of dollars for even relatively simple inventions, these costs should be weighed against the commercial value of the invention. You should contact us to discuss your particular situation and the likely costs.
Patents last for 20 years, measured from the filing date of the patent application. During the term of the patent, the patent owner has the exclusive right to make, use or sell the invention. After the patent expires, the invention is considered to be in the public domain, and anyone is free to make, use or sell it.
Patents provide exclusive legal rights to make, use or sell an invention for a limited period of time (20 years). Trademark protection covers a word, term, name, symbol or logo that is the indicator of the source of goods or services. Trademark protection can last forever. Copyright gives the holder the exclusive right to make and sell copies of a work of authorship for a limited time (usually the life of the author plus 70 years).