What is a patent? A United States Patent is essentially a “grant of rights” for a limited period. In layman’s terms, it is a contract in which the United States Of America 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, due to the belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. An excellent example is definitely the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some in the past into the many regional phone companies. The us government, specifically the Justice Department (the governmental agency which prosecutes monopoly or “antitrust” violations), considered that Bell Telephone was an unfair monopoly and forced it to relinquish its monopoly powers on the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the us government permit a monopoly by means of How To Get A Patent On An Idea? The us government makes an exception to encourage inventors in the future forward with their creations. In doing so, the us government actually promotes advancements in science and technology.
To start with, it should be clear to you just how a patent acts as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the property owner in the patent to avoid anyone else from producing the product or using the process covered by the patent. Consider Thomas Edison along with his most famous patented invention, the lighting bulb. With his patent for that bulb, Thomas Edison could prevent any other person or company from producing, using or selling lights without his permission. Essentially, nobody could contend with him within the light business, and therefore he possessed a monopoly.
However, so that you can receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison had to give something in turn. He necessary to fully “disclose” his invention to the public.
To acquire a United States Of America Patent, an inventor must fully disclose what the invention is, the actual way it operates, and the best way known by the inventor to really make it.It really is this disclosure to the public which entitles the inventor to some monopoly.The logic for carrying this out is that by promising inventors a monopoly in return for his or her disclosures towards the public, inventors will continually attempt to develop technologies and disclose these to the general public. Providing these with the monopoly allows them to profit financially through the invention. Without this “tradeoff,” there could be few incentives to build up technologies, because without having a patent monopoly an inventor’s effort will bring him no financial reward.Fearing their invention will be stolen when they try to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul with regards to their invention, and the public would not benefit.
The grant of rights within patent will last for a limited period.Utility patents expire 20 years after they are filed.If this type of was not the case, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there will be serious consequences. For example, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for that light bulb, we may probably need to pay about $300 to get a mild bulb today.Without competition, there would be little incentive for Edison to enhance upon his light.Instead, after the Edison light bulb patent expired, everybody was liberated to manufacture lights, and several companies did.The vigorous competition to do just that after expiration in the Edison patent led to better quality, lower costing lights.
Types of patents. You can find essentially three kinds of patents which you should know of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent relates to inventions that have a “functional” aspect (in other words, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it actually “does” something).Put simply, the one thing which can be different or “special” about the invention should be to get a functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention must also fall within at least one from the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Keep in mind that virtually any physical, functional invention will fall under one or more of those categories, so you do not need to be concerned with which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: imagine a “machine” as something which accomplishes a task because of the interaction of its physical parts, such as a can opener, a vehicle engine, a fax machine, etc.It will be the combination and interconnection of such physical parts that we are concerned and which are protected through the Inventhelp Phone Number.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” should be regarded as things that accomplish an activity just like a machine, but with no interaction of various physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may appear to be similar in many cases, it is possible to distinguish the 2 by thinking about articles of manufacture as more simplistic things that routinely have no moving parts. A paper clip, for instance is an article of manufacture.It accomplishes an activity (holding papers together), but is clearly not just a “machine” because it is an easy device which will not rely on the interaction of numerous parts.
C) Process: an easy method of performing something through one or more steps, each step interacting in some manner having a physical element, is regarded as a “process.” A procedure can be a new approach to manufacturing a known product or can even be a whole new use for a known product. Board games are usually protected as a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions like pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds including soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and so forth can be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes tend to be protected in this manner.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of an object, rather than its “utility” or function, which is protected with a utility patent. In other words, in the event the invention is really a useful object that includes a novel shape or overall appearance, a design patent might give you the appropriate protection. To prevent infringement, a copier will have to generate a version that fails to look “substantially like the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the design and overall appearance without infringing the design 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 a utility patent. Quite simply, when it seems like the invention cannot yet obtain a utility patent, the provisional application could be filed in the Patent Office to determine the inventor’s priority to the invention.Because the inventor consistently develop the invention to make further developments that allow a utility patent to become obtained, then the inventor can “convert” the provisional application to some full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for your date when the provisional application was filed.
A provisional patent has several advantages:
A) Patent Pending Status: The most popular benefit of a Provisional Patent Application is that it allows the inventor to instantly begin marking the product “patent pending.” It has an occasion-proven tremendous commercial value, like the “as seen on TV” label which is placed on many products. An item bearing these two phrases clearly possesses a commercial marketing advantage from the very beginning.
B) Capability to enhance the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has 1 year to “convert” the provisional right into a “full blown” utility application.In that year, the inventor should try to commercialize the product and assess its potential. In the event the product appears commercially viable in that year, then your inventor is motivated to convert the provisional application right into a utility application.However, unlike an ordinary utility application which cannot be changed in any way, a provisional application might have additional material included in it to improve it upon its conversion within one year.Accordingly, any helpful tips or tips that were obtained through the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization from the product can be implemented and protected during those times.
C) Establishment of the filing date: The provisional patent application offers the inventor with a crucial “filing date.” Put simply, the date that this provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for getting a utility patent. Once you are sure that your invention is a potential candidate for any utility patent (since it fits within one of the statutory classes), you should then move ahead to evaluate whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” Both of these requirements are essentially worried about whether your invention is new, and in case so, whether you will find a substantial distinction between it and other products inside the related field.
A) Novelty: To have a utility patent, you must initially decide if your invention is “novel”. Put simply, can be your invention new?Have you been the first person to have considered it? As an example, if you decide to apply for a patent on the bulb, it seems quite clear which you would not really entitled to a patent, considering that the bulb will not be a new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving the application, would reject it based upon the truth that Edison invented the lighting bulb many years 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 of the invention or everything proven to the public multiple year before you file a patent application for that invention).
To your invention to get novel with regards to other inventions on earth (prior art), it must just be different in certain minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel spanning a similar invention.If you were to invent a square light bulb, your invention would sometimes be novel when compared to the Edison light bulb (since his was round/elliptical). In the event 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 might be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which is just like yours in every single way your invention lacks novelty and is also not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is very very easy to overcome, since any slight variation in shape, size, combination of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, however the invention is novel, it might fail one other requirement mentioned previously: “non-obviousness.” So, if you find that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, do not celebrate yet — it is more difficult to meet the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As pointed out above, the novelty requirement will be the easy obstacle to overcome in the quest for a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the sole requirement to fulfill, then just about anything conceivable might be patented as long as it differed slightly from all of previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a more difficult, complex requirement should be satisfied after the novelty real question is met. This second requirement is known as “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states in part that although an invention and also the related prior art might 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 as well as the related prior art will be considered “obvious” to a person having ordinary skill in the field of the specific invention.
This is in actuality the Patent and Trademark Office’s method of subjectively judging the “quality” of the invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or not — it really is more often than not quite evident whether any differences exist in between your invention and also the prior art.About this point there is not any room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there is quite a bit of room for various opinions, since the requirement is inherently subjective: differing people, including different Examiners in the Patent Office, may have different opinions regarding if the invention is definitely obvious.
Some common types of items that are not usually considered significant, and therefore which are usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to create something lighter in weight; changing the dimensions or color; combining pieces of the type commonly found together; substituting one well known component for another similar component, etc.
IV. What exactly is considered prior art from 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 acquiring a patent. In other words, it defines exactly those ideas that the PTO can cite against you in an attempt to prove that your particular invention will not be in fact novel or to demonstrate that your invention is obvious. These eight sections may be split up into an arranged and understandable format comprising two main categories: prior art which can be dated before your date of “invention” (thus showing that you are currently not the first inventor); and prior art which goes back just before your “filing date” (thus showing which you may have waited too much time to file for any patent).
A) Prior art which goes back prior to your date of invention: It could seem to sound right that in case prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you must not be entitled to acquire a patent on that invention as you would not truly be the first inventor. Section 102(a) of the patent law specifically describes the things which can be used prior art if they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in the usa: Any evidence that your particular invention was “known” by others, in the United States, just 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 when they can show that your invention was generally proven to the public just before your date of invention.
2) Public use in america: Use by others from the invention you are attempting to patent in public areas in the United States, before your date of invention, can be held against your patent application by the PTO. This should make clear sense, since if someone else was publicly using the invention even before you conceived of it, you obviously should not be the first and first inventor of it, and you may not deserve to receive a patent because of it.
3) Patented in america or abroad: Any United States Of America or foreign patents which issued before your date of invention and which disclose your invention will be used against your patent application by the PTO. As an example, think 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 U . S . or abroad: Any United States or foreignprinted publications (like books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published before your date of invention will prevent you from getting a patent.Again, the reasoning here is that if your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you definitely are certainly not the first inventor (since somebody else thought of it prior to deciding to) and you also usually are not eligible to patent into it.
B)Prior art which goes back just before your filing date: As noted above, prior art was described as everything known prior to your conception of the invention or everything recognized to the general public several year before your filing of any patent application. This means that in many circumstances, even when you were the first to have conceived/invented something, you will be unable to acquire a patent onto it when it has entered the arena of public knowledge and more than one year has gone by between that time along with your filing of any patent application. The purpose of this rule is to encourage people to get patents on their own inventions as soon as possible or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) from the patent law defines specifically those types of prior art which can be used against you being a “one-year bar” as follows:
1) Commercial activity in the United States: If the invention you intend to patent was sold or offered available for sale in the United States more than one 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 invention on January 1, 2008, and present it for sale on January 3, 2008, so as to raise some funds to apply for a patent. You need to file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (1 year through the day you offered it available for sale).If you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for example, the PTO will reject your application to be barred since it was offered for sale multiple year just before your filing date.This also is the case if someone other than yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still that you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but did not sell or offer it for sale publicly.You simply kept it to yourself.Also assume that on February 1, 2008, someone else conceived of the invention and began selling it. This starts your twelve months clock running!Should you not file a patent on your invention by February 2, 2009, (one year from your date another person began selling it) then you certainly also will likely be forever barred from acquiring a patent. Note that this provision in the law prevents you from obtaining a patent, even though there is absolutely no prior art dating back to to before your date of conception and you really are the very first inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), for the reason that the invention was offered to the general public more than one year before your filing date due to the other person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your chances of acquiring a patent even when you are the first inventor and also have satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in america: If the invention you want to Inventhelp Commercials was utilized in the usa by you or any other several year before your filing of a patent application, then you certainly are “barred” from ever obtaining a patent on your own invention. Typical examples of public use are whenever you or someone else display and use the invention in a trade exhibition or public gathering, on tv, or elsewhere where the public has potential access.People use need not be the one that specifically intends to create the public conscious of the invention. Any use which can be potentially accessed by the public will suffice to begin usually the one year clock running (but a secret use will often not invoke the one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in the United States or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or some other printed publication on your part or by someone else, accessible to the public in america or abroad multiple year before your filing date, will stop you from acquiring a patent on your invention.Be aware that even a write-up published by you, regarding 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, this would start the main one-year clock running.So too would usually the one-year clock start running to suit your needs if a complete stranger published a printed article about the subject of your invention.
4) Patented in the usa or abroad: If a United States Of America or foreign patent covering your invention issued over a year prior to your filing date, you will be barred from obtaining a patent. Compare this with the previous section regarding U . S . and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) from the patent law, you might be prohibited from getting a patent when the filing date of some other patent is earlier than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which we have been discussing here, you can not get yourself a patent with an invention which was disclosed in another patent issued over last year, even if your date of invention was before the filing date of the patent.