What is a Patent?

What is a Patent?  Patents are basically ownership of a tool, product, or process and once ownership of a patent is obtained, anyone hoping to use the patent must pay the owner money which is typically provided under license.  This payment is sometimes referred to as a royalty. Ownership of a patent is like owning property and renting it out.  Many people can pay a license under patent, all at the same time.  Using a patent attorney to help registering a patent can be an exceptionally lucrative decision, potentially providing the patent holder millions of dollars per year.

Specifically, a patent is form of property which is typically given by the government to an inventor of a new and useful invention.  In some cases, if the patent rights is licensed to others, it can provide a source of ongoing royaltys for years.  To qualify for a patent, a patent attorney usually submits a qualifying patent application to the govermental and negotiates with the goverment to register the patent.

Under patent law, there are three types of patents registered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The first and most commonly known patent is the Utility Patent. The Utility Patent can be further divided into a provisional (incomplete) and non-provisional (complete) patent.  Utility Patents apply to functional inventions like machines, apparatuses processes, or compositions of matter, and correspond to the common understanding of patentable subject matter. Patents may also be issued on new varieties of asexually produced cultivated plants and on ornamental designs for a useful invention.

If you have an idea you want to patent or feel that others are using your patent rights without your permission, please contact our office to schedule a meeting with one of our patent attorneys.