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 specific concept for a very limited time.
Typically, our government frowns upon any sort of monopolization in commerce, because of the belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. A great example is the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some years ago to the many regional phone companies. The government, particularly the Justice Department (the governmental agency which prosecutes monopoly or “antitrust” violations), thought that Bell Telephone was an unfair monopoly and forced it to relinquish its monopoly powers over the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the federal government permit a monopoly in the form of Market An Invention Idea? The us government makes an exception to encourage inventors to come forward making use of their creations. By doing this, the us government actually promotes advancements in science and technology.
First of all, 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 stop someone else from producing the product or utilizing the process protected by the patent. Consider Thomas Edison and his most popular patented invention, the lighting bulb. Together with his patent for that light bulb, Thomas Edison could prevent every other person or company from producing, using or selling bulbs without his permission. Essentially, no person could contest with him in the light business, and therefore he possessed a monopoly.
However, in order to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison needed to give something in return. He needed to fully “disclose” his invention for the public.
To acquire a United States Of America Patent, an inventor must fully disclose exactly what the invention is, the actual way it operates, and the easiest way known from 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 the fact that by promising inventors a monopoly in exchange for their disclosures towards the public, inventors will continually attempt to develop technologies and disclose them to people. Providing all of them with the monopoly enables them to profit financially from your invention. Without this “tradeoff,” there could be few incentives to build up technologies, because without a patent monopoly an inventor’s hard work will bring him no financial reward.Fearing that their invention could be stolen when they make an effort to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul regarding their invention, and the public would not benefit.
The grant of rights within patent will last for a restricted period.Utility patents expire 20 years after they are filed.If the was untrue, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there will be serious consequences. As an example, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for the bulb, we might probably need to pay about $300 to buy a light bulb today.Without competition, there would be little incentive for Edison to boost upon his light bulb.Instead, after the Edison bulb patent expired, everybody was able to manufacture bulbs, and several companies did.The vigorous competition to perform just that after expiration from the Edison patent ended in higher quality, lower costing bulbs.
Varieties of patents. You will find essentially three types of patents which you should be aware of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent pertains to inventions that have a “functional” aspect (put simply, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it actually “does” something).In other words, one thing which is different or “special” concerning the invention should be for any functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention should also fall within a minumum of one in the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Remember that almost any physical, functional invention will fall into at least one of these categories, so that you do not need to be concerned with which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: consider a “machine” as something which accomplishes a task because of the interaction of the physical parts, for instance a can opener, an automobile engine, a fax machine, etc.It is the combination and interconnection of these physical parts in which we have been concerned and which can be protected through the Inventhelp Wiki.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” needs to be regarded as things which accomplish a task like a machine, but minus the interaction of various physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may seem to be similar in many instances, it is possible to distinguish both by considering articles of manufacture as more simplistic items that typically have no moving parts. A paper clip, as an example is definitely an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a task (holding papers together), but is clearly not really a “machine” as it is an easy device which fails to rely on the interaction of numerous parts.
C) Process: a way of doing something through several steps, each step interacting in some way using a physical element, is known as a “process.” A process can be quite a new method of manufacturing a known product or could even be a whole new use for any known product. Board games are usually protected as being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions like pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds including soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and the like could be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes tend to be protected in this fashion.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of the object, rather than its “utility” or function, which is protected by a utility patent. Put simply, if the invention is actually a useful object which has a novel shape or overall look, a design patent might give you the appropriate protection. To avoid infringement, a copier will have to generate a version that fails to look “substantially similar to the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the design and overall appearance without infringing the design patent.
A provisional patent application is a step toward obtaining a utility patent, where invention might not yet anticipate to obtain a utility patent. Put simply, if it seems like the invention cannot yet get a utility patent, the provisional application might be filed in the Patent Office to build the inventor’s priority to the invention.Because the inventor consistently develop the invention making further developments which allow a utility patent to be obtained, then the inventor can “convert” the provisional application to your full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for that date if the provisional application was filed.
A provisional patent has several positive aspects:
A) Patent Pending Status: Probably the most well known benefit from a Provisional Patent Application is that it allows the inventor to instantly begin marking the product “patent pending.” This has a time-proven tremendous commercial value, just like the “as seen on television” label that is put on many products. A product bearing these two phrases clearly possesses an industrial marketing advantage right from the start.
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.During that year, the inventor need to commercialize the item and assess its potential. In the event the product appears commercially viable during that year, then your inventor is motivated to convert the provisional application in to a utility application.However, unlike an ordinary utility application which should not be changed in any respect, a provisional application may have additional material added to it to enhance it upon its conversion within 1 year.Accordingly, any helpful information or tips that were obtained through the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization of the product can be implemented and protected during that time.
C) Establishment of a filing date: The provisional patent application offers the inventor having a crucial “filing date.” Put simply, the date that this provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, even for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for acquiring a utility patent. When you are certain that your invention is really a potential candidate for any utility patent (since it fits within one of the statutory classes), you ought to then move ahead to evaluate whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” Those two requirements are essentially worried about whether your invention is new, and if so, whether there exists a substantial difference between it and other products inside the related field.
A) Novelty: To acquire a utility patent, you have to initially decide if your invention is “novel”. In other words, can be your invention new?Have you been the very first person to get looked at it? For example, if you were to make application for a patent on the light bulb, it appears quite clear that you simply would not really entitled to a patent, since the bulb is not a new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving your application, would reject it dependant on the reality that Edison invented the sunshine bulb a long time ago. In rejecting your patent application, the Patent Office would actually cite the Edison light bulb patent against you as relevant “prior art” (prior art is everything “known” prior to your conception in the invention or everything proven to the public several year before you decide to file a patent application for your invention).
To your invention to become novel with respect to other inventions on the planet (prior art), it must simply be different in certain minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel over a similar invention.Should you invent a square bulb, your invention would really be novel when compared to Edison bulb (since his was round/elliptical). When the patent office would cite the round Edison light against your square one as prior art to exhibit that your particular invention was not novel, they would be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which can be just like yours in every way your invention lacks novelty and it is not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is extremely simple to overcome, since any slight variation in good shape, size, combination of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, although the invention is novel, it might fail one other requirement mentioned above: “non-obviousness.” So, in the event that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, do not celebrate yet — it really is more challenging to meet the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As mentioned above, the novelty requirement is definitely the easy obstacle to overcome inside the pursuit of a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the sole requirement to satisfy, then just about anything conceivable might be patented as long as it differed slightly from all previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a more difficult, complex requirement must be satisfied following the novelty question for you is met. This second requirement is called “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states to some extent that although an invention and also the related prior art might not be “identical” (which means that the invention is novel with regards to the prior art), the invention may nevertheless be unpatentable when the differences between it and the related prior art could be considered “obvious” to a person having ordinary skill in the field of the specific invention.
This is in fact the Patent and Trademark Office’s way of subjectively judging the “quality” of the invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or not — it is actually more often than not quite evident whether any differences exist involving the invention and also the prior art.About this point there is no room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there exists a large amount of room for various opinions, considering that the requirement is inherently subjective: each person, including different Examiners at the Patent Office, will have different opinions regarding if the invention is truly obvious.
Some common samples of items that usually are not usually considered significant, and therefore that are usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to help make something lighter in weight; changing the dimensions or color; combining pieces of what type commonly found together; substituting one well known component for another similar component, etc.
IV. Precisely what is considered prior art through the Patent Office?
The patent laws, specifically 35 U.S.C. section 102, outline eight major kinds of prior art which could be used to keep you from obtaining a patent. Quite simply, it defines exactly those activities that the PTO can cite against you so as to prove that your invention is not in reality novel or show that your invention is obvious. These eight sections can be divided into an organized and understandable format composed of two main categories: prior art that is dated before your date of “invention” (thus showing that you are not the initial inventor); and prior art which extends back before your “filing date” (thus showing which you might have waited too much time to file for any patent).
A) Prior art which dates back just before your date of invention: It might manage to sound right that when prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you must not be entitled to acquire a patent on that invention because you would not truly become the first inventor. Section 102(a) of the patent law specifically describes those things which can be used as prior art if they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in the United States: Any evidence that your particular invention was “known” by others, in the usa, before your date of invention. Even when there is no patent or written documentation showing that your particular invention was known in america, the PTO might still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty if they can demonstrate that your invention was generally known to the public prior to your date of invention.
2) Public use in the usa: Use by others in the invention you are attempting to patent in public places in the usa, prior to your date of invention, can be held against your patent application through the PTO. This should make clear sense, since if a person else was publicly utilizing the invention even before you conceived of it, you obviously can not be the first and first inventor of it, and you may not need to get a patent because of it.
3) Patented in the usa or abroad: Any United States Of America or foreign patents which issued just before your date of invention and which disclose your invention is going to be used against your patent application from the PTO. For example, believe that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO can use any patents which disclose an identical 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 U . S . or abroad: Any United States or foreignprinted publications (like books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published just before your date of invention will stop you from getting a patent.Again, the reasoning here is when your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you certainly usually are not the first inventor (since somebody else thought of it prior to deciding to) and also you are not eligible for patent into it.
B)Prior art which dates back prior to your filing date: As noted above, prior art was defined as everything known prior to your conception of the invention or everything known to people several year before your filing of the patent application. Therefore that in many circumstances, even when you were the first to have conceived/invented something, you may be unable to get a patent onto it when it has entered the world of public knowledge and more than one year has gone by between that time along with your filing of any patent application. The objective of this rule is to encourage people to apply for patents on their inventions at the earliest opportunity or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) of the patent law defines specifically those kinds of prior art which can be used against you being a “one-year bar” as follows:
1) Commercial activity in the United States: When the invention you wish to patent was sold or offered available for sale in the usa more than one year before you decide to file a patent application, then you definitely are “barred” from ever getting a patent on your own invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of the invention on January 1, 2008, and present it for sale on January 3, 2008, in an effort to raise some funds to get a patent. You need to file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (one year through the day you offered it available for sale).Should you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for instance, the PTO will reject your application to be barred because it was offered available for sale more than one year just before your filing date.This will be the case if someone apart from yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still that you simply conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but failed to sell or offer it available for sale publicly.You simply kept it to yourself.Also believe that on February 1, 2008, another person conceived of your invention and began selling it. This starts your one year clock running!If you do not file a patent on your own invention by February 2, 2009, (twelve months from the date one other person began selling it) then you also will likely be forever barred from getting a patent. Note that this provision in the law prevents from getting a patent, even though there is no prior art going back to before your date of conception and also you really are the initial inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), mainly because the invention was offered to the public more than one year before your filing date because of another person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your odds of obtaining a patent even though you are the first inventor and also have satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in the United States: When the invention you intend to How To Register A Patent In The Usa was applied in america on your part or another several year before your filing of a patent application, then you are “barred” from ever obtaining a patent on the invention. Typical types of public use are whenever you or someone else display and utilize the invention at a trade exhibition or public gathering, on tv, or somewhere else where the public has potential access.People use will not need to be one that specifically plans to make the public conscious of the invention. Any use which can be potentially accessed by the public will suffice to begin with the main one year clock running (but a secret use will often not invoke the main one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in america or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or any other printed publication by you or by someone else, available to people in america or abroad multiple year before your filing date, will prevent you from getting a patent on your invention.Remember that even a post published by you, concerning your own invention, will begin usually the one-year clock running.So, as an example, if you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it all out, this could start usually the one-year clock running.So too would the main one-year clock start running for you personally if a complete stranger published a printed article about the main topic of your invention.
4) Patented in the usa or abroad: If a United States or foreign patent covering your invention issued spanning a year before your filing date, you may be barred from obtaining a patent. Compare this with all the previous section regarding United States and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) in the patent law, you might be prohibited from acquiring a patent when the filing date of some other patent is earlier than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which our company is discussing here, you cannot get yourself a patent on an invention which had been disclosed in another patent issued over last year, even though your date of invention was prior to the filing date of the patent.