The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) receives over 500,000 patent applications each year. Obtaining a patient and dealing with intellectual property is a serious task and can be quite confusing.
Hopefully, this will help you better understand everything about patents and intellectual property. Here are some commonly asked questions pertaining to acquiring a patent:
- Can everything be patented? — No, not everything can be patented, but the qualifications are sufficiently broad and encompass nearly all original inventions. In order to be a qualified material, your invention must meet certain criteria.
- What are the three basic criteria for patentability? — To be granted a patent, a qualified material must meet the following basic criteria: novelty, utility, and inventiveness.
- How long can a patent be in use? — A new patent has a term of roughly 20 years from the application filing date. Similarly, you can use a provisional patent to protect your invention for a period of 12 months and claim that there’s a “patent pending” on your product. If you haven’t filed for a regular patent application in 12 months, the provisional patent application express, and your invention will be unprotected.
- What should I do if I can’t get a patent? — There are a few steps you can take to get an invention patented, but your best bet is to work with a legal professional. Patent attorneys are experienced with all the legalities associated with intellectual property litigation and can help you throughout every step of the patent process. Make sure you’re working with a qualified patent attorney and not attempting to do everything yourself.
- How much does it cost to obtain a patent? — Fees vary depending on the actual type of patent application being submitted. Additionally, fees can vary accounting to the way you claim your invention. There are three basic fees for utility patents: the filing fee, the issue fee, and maintenance fees. Additional fees may be required, as well.
If you want to learn more about how to obtain a patent or work with a professional patent attorney, give Eldredge Law Firm a call right away.