A patent is a legal instrument by which people and companies may define intellectual property. It is best to conceptualize a patent as an intellectual property deed. Just as a deed for property defines the measurements, description, metes and bounds of a property, it simultaneously provides a clear indication in the event of a trespasser or an encroachment to the property. The language of a patent is designed and used such that a lawyer or skilled patent practitioner can assess if anyone is infringing on a patented invention or product. Each country however, has its own rules about how and what you can claim as an invention.
How to patent an idea.
In order for an invention to be patentable it must be useful, novel and non-obvious as defined in the patent law. However, there are time limitations which may prevent an inventor from obtaining a patent for his/her invention. For example, there is the one-year bar which provides that an invention cannot be patented if the invention was publicly disclosed more than one year prior to filing an application for a patent in the United States. See 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).
There are two basic types of patents:
- Utility patents may be granted to one who invents or discovers any new and useful process (such as the process for making a chemical or a drug), machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.
- Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture (such as a jewelry design or feature for a shoe or sneaker).
What is not patentable:
- Vague concepts or ideas, or statements of intended results without teaching how to apply the ideas or accomplish the results;
- Laws of nature such as gravity, magnetism or other physics principles;
- Mathematical algorithms; and
- Purely mental processes.
Patent Agents and Attorneys assist with protecting and defending your rights.
At Baker and Rannells, we can assist you in obtaining a patent to protect your invention, or mount a defense in the case of patent infringement. Either way, you’ll benefit from our vast experience and knowledge.
Step 1: Do a quick patent search on the Internet or try a search on the website for the United States Patent and Trademark Office to see what related inventions already exist. However, we will discuss if a more detailed search is advisable to determine if your invention is patentable should you choose to hire us to represent you.
Step 2: Download and fill out a short Disclosure Form in preparation for a first consultation with one of our patent attorneys. Within the disclosure form, you will be asked to describe your invention in greater detail and provide us any sketches or diagrams you may have already developed. This information is kept confidential even if our firm is not retained. While at the first meeting, we can also discuss if there are any other technologies, literature, or inventions that already exists that may relate to yours.
Step 3: Schedule a no cost initial consultation with one of our patent attorneys. There’s no obligation. Simply call our office at (908) 722-5640 or send an email using the form on this page.
If you decide to engage our law firm to assist you, we will ask that you complete a more lengthy disclosure form. We hope to hear from you soon.