What is a patent? A U . S . Patent is essentially a “grant of rights” for a limited period. In layman’s terms, it is a contract where the United States Of America government expressly permits an individual or company to monopolize a particular concept for a limited time.
Typically, our government frowns upon any kind of monopolization in commerce, as a result of belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. A good example is definitely the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some years back in to the many regional phone companies. The federal government, specifically 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 by means of Reviews For Inventhelp? The government makes an exception to encourage inventors to come forward using their creations. By doing this, the government actually promotes advancements in science and technology.
To start with, it should be clear to you personally just how a patent acts as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the homeowner from the patent to stop someone else from producing the item or making use of the process included in the patent. Consider Thomas Edison and his most popular patented invention, the sunshine bulb. Together with his patent for the bulb, Thomas Edison could prevent any other person or company from producing, using or selling light bulbs without his permission. Essentially, no one could contend with him within the light business, so therefore he possessed a monopoly.
However, to be able to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison had to give something in exchange. He necessary to fully “disclose” his invention towards the public.
To acquire a United States Of America Patent, an inventor must fully disclose exactly what the invention is, the way it operates, and the best way known through the inventor to make it.It is this disclosure towards the public which entitles the inventor to your monopoly.The logic for carrying this out is the fact that by promising inventors a monopoly in exchange for their disclosures to the public, inventors will continually strive to develop technologies and disclose these to people. Providing these with the monopoly enables them to profit financially through the invention. Without it “tradeoff,” there could be few incentives to build up new technologies, because without a patent monopoly an inventor’s work will bring him no financial reward.Fearing that their invention will be stolen when they make an effort to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul with regards to their invention, and also the public would never benefit.
The grant of rights within a patent lasts for a limited period.Utility patents expire 20 years when they are filed.If this type of was incorrect, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there would be serious consequences. For example, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for that bulb, we may probably have to pay about $300 to buy a mild bulb today.Without competition, there would be little incentive for Edison to improve upon his light bulb.Instead, after the Edison bulb patent expired, everyone was free to manufacture light bulbs, and many companies did.The vigorous competition to do that after expiration from the Edison patent resulted in better quality, lower costing light bulbs.
Kinds of patents. There are essentially three kinds of patents which you should know of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent applies to inventions which have a “functional” aspect (quite simply, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it actually “does” something).In other words, the one thing which can be different or “special” regarding the invention must be for any functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention also must fall within a minumum of one in the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Keep in mind that almost any physical, functional invention will fall under a minumum of one of such categories, which means you will not need to be concerned with which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: imagine a “machine” as something which accomplishes a task as a result of interaction of the physical parts, like a can opener, a car engine, a fax machine, etc.It is the combination and interconnection of these physical parts with which we are concerned and which can be protected by the How To Start An Invention.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” ought to be regarded as things which accomplish a task like a machine, but with no interaction of various physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may appear to be similar in many instances, you can distinguish both by thinking about articles of manufacture as increasing numbers of simplistic things which normally have no moving parts. A paper clip, for example is an article of manufacture.It accomplishes an activity (holding papers together), but is clearly not really a “machine” because it is an easy device which will not rely on the interaction of numerous parts.
C) Process: a way of accomplishing something through a number of steps, each step interacting in some manner having a physical element, is actually a “process.” A process can be quite a new way of manufacturing a known product or can also be a whole new use to get a known product. Board games are usually protected being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions such as pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds such as soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and so forth can be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes are frequently protected in this way.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of your object, rather than its “utility” or function, which can be protected by way of a utility patent. Quite simply, if the invention is really a useful object that includes a novel shape or overall look, a design patent might provide the appropriate protection. To prevent infringement, a copier would have to create a version that fails to look “substantially like the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the form and overall look without infringing the design and style patent.
A provisional patent application is really a step toward obtaining a utility patent, in which the invention may not yet anticipate to obtain a utility patent. In other words, if this seems as though the invention cannot yet get a utility patent, the provisional application may be filed inside the Patent Office to establish the inventor’s priority for the invention.Since the inventor consistently develop the invention to make further developments which permit a utility patent to get obtained, then the inventor can “convert” the provisional application to some full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for that date once the provisional application was filed.
A provisional patent has several positive aspects:
A) Patent Pending Status: Probably the most popular benefit of a Provisional Patent Application is it allows the inventor to right away begin marking the product “patent pending.” This has a period-proven tremendous commercial value, just like the “as seen in the media” label that is put on many products. A product or service bearing these two phrases clearly possesses an industrial marketing advantage from the very beginning.
B) Capability to increase the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has twelve months to “convert” the provisional right into a “full blown” utility application.In that year, the inventor need to try to commercialize the product and assess its potential. If the product appears commercially viable during that year, then your inventor is motivated to convert the provisional application into a utility application.However, unlike a typical utility application which cannot be changed in any respect, a provisional application might have additional material included in it to improve it upon its conversion within one year.Accordingly, any helpful information or tips which were obtained from the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization from the product can be implemented and protected at that time.
C) Establishment of any filing date: The provisional patent application also provides the inventor having a crucial “filing date.” Put simply, the date that the provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, even for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for getting a utility patent. When you are certain that your invention is a potential candidate for a utility patent (as it fits within one of the statutory classes), you need to then move ahead to analyze whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” Both of these requirements are essentially worried about whether your invention is completely new, and in case so, whether there exists a substantial difference between it and other products inside the related field.
A) Novelty: To have a utility patent, you need to initially determine whether your invention is “novel”. In other words, is your invention new?Are you the initial person to get looked at it? For example, if you were to obtain a patent on the light bulb, it seems quite clear that you would not really eligible to a patent, since the light bulb will not be a brand new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving the application, would reject it dependant on the fact that Edison invented the lighting bulb a long time ago. In rejecting your patent application, the Patent Office would actually cite the Edison light patent against you as relevant “prior art” (prior art is everything “known” just before your conception of the invention or everything recognized to the general public multiple year before you file a patent application for your invention).
For your invention to become novel regarding other inventions on earth (prior art), it should just be different in a few minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel more than a similar invention.If you were to invent a square light bulb, your invention would actually be novel compared to the Edison light (since his was round/elliptical). In the event the patent office were to cite the round Edison light against your square one as prior art to exhibit that your particular invention had not been novel, they would be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which can be just like yours in every single way your invention lacks novelty and it is not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is very simple to overcome, since any slight variation in shape, size, mixture of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, however the invention is novel, it might fail the other requirement stated earlier: “non-obviousness.” So, in the event that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, tend not to celebrate yet — it really is more challenging to satisfy the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As stated before, the novelty requirement is definitely the easy obstacle to beat within the quest for a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the only real requirement to fulfill, then just about anything conceivable may be patented so long as it differed slightly from all previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a much more difficult, complex requirement must be satisfied after the novelty real question is met. This second requirement is called “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states in part that although an invention as well as the related prior art is probably not “identical” (meaning 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 someone having ordinary skill in the specific invention.
This really is in fact the Patent and Trademark Office’s way of subjectively judging the “quality” of your invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or not — it really is almost always quite evident whether any differences exist involving the invention and the prior art.With this point there is no room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there exists a large amount of room for a number of opinions, because the requirement is inherently subjective: differing people, including different Examiners on the Patent Office, could have different opinions regarding whether the invention is definitely obvious.
Some common examples of things that are certainly not usually considered significant, and thus which are usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to create something lighter in weight; changing the size or color; combining pieces of the type commonly found together; substituting one popular 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 types of prior art which can be used to stop you from obtaining a patent. Put simply, it defines exactly those activities which the PTO can cite against you so as to prove that your particular invention is not really in reality novel or even to reveal that your invention is obvious. These eight sections could be split up into an arranged 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 very first inventor); and prior art which extends back before your “filing date” (thus showing which you may have waited too long to file for any patent).
A) Prior art which goes back prior to your date of invention: It might appear to sound right that in case prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you should not be entitled to obtain a patent on that invention since you would not truly be the first inventor. Section 102(a) in the patent law specifically describes the things which can be used as prior art when 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 United States, before your date of invention. Even if there is no patent or written documentation showing that your particular invention was known in the United States, the PTO can still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty if they can reveal that your invention was generally known to people prior to your date of invention.
2) Public use in the usa: Use by others of the invention you are attempting to patent in public places in america, before your date of invention, can be held against your patent application through the PTO. This ought to make clear sense, since if someone else was publicly utilizing the invention even before you conceived of it, you obviously should not be the initial and first inventor from it, and you may not deserve to get a patent for this.
3) Patented in the United States or abroad: Any United States or foreign patents which issued before your date of invention and which disclose your invention will likely be used against your patent application from the PTO. For instance, assume that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO are able to use any patents which disclose an identical lobster de-shelling tool, United States or foreign, which issued before June 1, 2007 (your date of invention) against your patent application.
4) Published publicly in United States Of America or abroad: Any United States or foreignprinted publications (such as books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published before your date of invention will stop you from acquiring a patent.Again, the reasoning here is when your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you certainly are certainly not the very first inventor (since another person thought of it before you) and you usually are not eligible for patent onto it.
B)Prior art which dates back before your filing date: As noted above, prior art was described as everything known before your conception in the invention or everything proven to the public several year before your filing of a patent application. This means that in numerous circumstances, even though you were the first one to have conceived/invented something, you may be unable to get a patent on it if this has entered the world of public knowledge and over 1 year has gone by between that time as well as your filing of a patent application. The objective of this rule would be to encourage people to try to get patents on the inventions as quickly as possible or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) in the patent law defines specifically those types of prior art which can be used against you as being a “one-year bar” as follows:
1) Commercial activity in the usa: When the invention you want to patent was sold or offered available for sale in the usa multiple year before you file a patent application, then you are “barred” from ever acquiring a patent on the invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of the invention on January 1, 2008, and offer it on the market on January 3, 2008, in an attempt to raise some funds to get a patent. You need to file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (twelve months from your day you offered it on the market).Should you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for example, the PTO will reject your application as being barred because it was offered for sale multiple year before your filing date.This also is the case if someone apart from yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still which you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but failed to sell or offer it for sale publicly.You just kept it to yourself.Also think that on February 1, 2008, someone else conceived of your invention and began selling it. This starts your twelve months clock running!If you do not file a patent on your invention by February 2, 2009, (one year from the date the other person began selling it) then you also will be forever barred from getting a patent. Be aware that this provision in the law prevents you against acquiring a patent, although there is absolutely no prior art dating back to to before your date of conception and you also truly are the very first inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), simply because the invention was offered to the public for over 1 year before your filing date because of the other person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin the chances of you getting a patent even if you are the first inventor and have satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in america: When the invention you want to Inventhelp Wiki was utilized in america on your part or some other multiple year before your filing of a patent application, then you certainly are “barred” from ever getting a patent on your own invention. Typical types of public use are whenever you or another person display and use the invention with a trade event or public gathering, on tv, or somewhere else where the public has potential access.People use need not be one that specifically plans to make the public aware of the invention. Any use which is often potentially accessed through the public will suffice to start usually the one year clock running (but a secret use will often not invoke the one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in america or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or other printed publication on your part or by another person, offered to the general public in the United States or abroad several year before your filing date, will prevent you from getting a patent on the invention.Remember that even a post published by you, regarding your own invention, will start the main one-year clock running.So, for example, should you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it, this could start the main one-year clock running.So too would the one-year clock start running to suit your needs in case 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 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 all the previous section regarding United States and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) of the patent law, you might be prohibited from obtaining a patent in the event the filing date of some other patent is earlier than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which we have been discussing here, you cannot get yourself a patent with an invention that was disclosed in another patent issued over a year ago, even if your date of invention was ahead of the filing date of this patent.