A patent registration gives you the power to stop others from making, using, selling or importing your invention without your permission. A patent gives you the exclusive right to the invention, in this way a patent can prevent competitors from unlawfully selling or using your invention.
An experienced patent attorney knows their are three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, plant patents. All patents, once filed are patent pending. Provisional Patents, commonly referred to as Patent Pending Applications are simply the first stage of a Utility Patent. You can read more about provisional patents here.
To receive any of the benefits of patent protection, the patent application must be filed within a relatively short time-frame after the invention becomes public. This often occurs when the invention is offered for sale or become otherwise publicly known. In addition, since the U.S. has switched to the First-to-File Rule, you must be the first inventor to file a patent for the invention. Failure to apply for a patent first or within the required time-frame may result in the forfeiture of all patent rights.
Although it varies; generally, a patent lasts 20 years from the filing date for a utility patent and 15 years from the filing date for a design patent.
An experienced patent attorney can help you navigate the process of obtaining a patent. They are familiar with the complex process of preparing and filing for a patent application and can help navigate the governmental roadblocks towards obtaining a patent. In terms of Patent Attorneys, experience counts.
A patent is a right granted by the government which provides the inventor (of a novel and useful invention) the power to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale or importing the patented invention. Examples of patentable inventions include machinery, medical devices, computer programs, computer systems and business processes.
Patents reward inventors by allowing you to exclude others from using your invention. An experienced patent attorney can help you file a patent application and protect your rights as an inventor.
The timing of filing for a patent is critical. If the invention becomes publicly known, or offered for sale prior to filing a patent application, the time for filing a patent may expire. Once a patent right is surrendered, the invention covered become part of the public domain and the inventor is forbidden from obtaining a patent covering the surrendered invention. In addition, the U.S. is now a First-to-File country, which means priority of a patent is given to the first inventor who files a patent application on an invention.
To protect your rights, we recommend that you contact one of our experienced patent attorneys to discuss how we can assist you with applying for a patent application.
In addition to being necessary for preparing a patentability opinion letter, a search is recommended to prepare the patent application and to draft claims in a way which would give the broadest possible protection to the invention. While some may believe a patent can be filed without conducting a professional patent search, at the Intellectual Property Center we highly recommend conducting the patent search. While it may be easier to draft the patent without evaluating the prior art, it will not provide the greatest protection for you or your business as you integrate the invention into your business model.
Click here to read about OPINION LETTERS.
A United States Patent gives the inventor the exclusive right to the invention claimed in the patent. Any unauthorized user of the invention owes the patent holder for their use and may be sued for infringement. However, the burden is on the patent owner to prove infringement, which can be demonstrated in a number of ways, including literal infringement or infringement under the doctrine of equivalents.
Literal infringement occurs if, when evaluating the claims of the patents, there is a correspondence between the claims of the patented device and the infringing device. Where a device does not literally infringe, it may infringe under the doctrine of equivalents. A device can infringe under the doctrine of equivalents, if it performs substantially the same function in substantially the same way to achieve the same result.
If you have a patent that you believe is being infringed, you should contact one of our patent attorneys to preserve your legal rights. Conversely, if another person or group is claiming that you have infringed their patent, you should contact us to see how we can assist you with enforcing your patent.
In addition to assisting in preparing and filing a patent application, we can provide additional information and assistance on:
- INTERNATIONAL/PCT APPLICATIONS
- LICENSING PATENT RIGHTS
- VALUATION OF PATENTS
- MONITOR FOR NEW PATENT APPLICATIONS OR USE OF PATENT RIGHTS
In summary, Providing Patent Services can include a number of different services including patent searches, drafting patents, filing patents, assignment and registration of patents, international patents, maintaining patents, valuing patents, licensing patents, monitoring patents and enforcing patents. Our attorneys can help protect you or your business in Kansas City, St. Louis and Wichita.