Protecting Ideas With Patents
Patents are a special type of right. They are a “negative right” or “exclusive right.” They do not guarantee you the ability to do anything. Their purpose is to exclude others from exploiting your invention.
As the inventor of something new, you have the right to exclude others from using your idea, absent a royalty payment or licensing agreement. Our attorney, Karen B. Tripp, has nearly 40 years of experience working with inventors during the patent filing process, as well as with defending patent rights from infringement in court.
We Work With All Types Of Patents
Patents are classified by their form. Our attorney has the experience and expertise to help you determine which type of patent to apply for: A utility patent, with is the most common form of patent granted, is used for machines, chemical formula, compounds, manufactured goods, and processes.
A design patent is issued for the original, ornamental design of a manufactured product. A plant patent is issued for a new variety of plant, including genetic modifications and hybrids. Additionally, our attorney has specific experience working with:
- Chemical Patents
- Licensing Patents
- Oilfield Patents
Can Your Idea Be Patented?
The patent law in the U.S. dates back to 1790. The language of the Act states that anyone who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent.”
The two key requirements of being “new and useful” have been interpreted to mean that to obtain a patent, your invention or improvement must be: novel, non-obvious and it must be useful. The meaning of these terms has been further defined by numerous cases.
Our attorney has exhaustive knowledge of this process and can carefully review your invention. We will explain what you must demonstrate to obtain a patent in the context of your invention and we will also perform a comprehensive search of existing patents for similar prior art.
Registration Process For Patents
If your invention appears to be patentable, we will work with you during the complex process of preparing a patent application, including creating necessary drawings, descriptions and claims.
Timing is important in a competitive market, the filing date of your patent application may determine your ability to fully exploit the value of the invention. We understand the sensitive and important nature of this work and we strive to help you achieve your goals for your invention.
A patent is granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a specific period which varies depending on the type of patent. Under current law, a utility patent term is 20 years, while a design patent’s term is 15 years. However, there are other requirements to maintain the validity and enforceability of a patent, and our attorney can explain these details in the context of your invention.
Defending Patent Infringement
If infringement occurs, it is important to properly respond. Our attorney has the expertise necessary to protect your patent rights. Litigation can be expensive, and our experience allows us to advise you on the most cost-effective way to respond, from cease and desist requests to aggressive litigation in court.