Patent Protection & Process
Obtaining a patent for an invention, product or service provides the inventor with the legal force to prohibit others from producing or manufacturing their invention for a number of years determined by the patent category. A patent may be filed up to a year after an invention is revealed to the public. If another party attempts to file a patent on the same invention in that time, the patent will be awarded to the initial inventor. In the absence of patent protection, anyone may manufacture, market, and sell your invention, resulting in lost market control, brand awareness, and sales. Another party may even file a patent on the invention, obtaining sole rights to production, which would exclude the original inventor from profiting from the invention. Our independent patent practitioners can assist you in this patent process through their trusted patent services.
The 3 Most Common Types of Patents
- Utility – (Machine, Method)
- Plant (Agricultural)
The utility category addresses utilities and functions of a product, while the design category covers non-functional aesthetics and appearance. Machine and method patents are subcategories of utility. Tangible products are patented as 'machines' composed of parts or combined devices. Services and processes are patented as 'methods' and detailed as a series of steps. When deciding to patent your idea, you need to consider all the steps involved in this extensive patent process.
Provisional Patent Application also known as PPA is a shorter, quicker, and cost-effective route to getting your invention, idea, or product on file with the US Patent & Trademark Office.
- Provides 12 months of protection of your idea or product
- In this time, you can further develop, prepare, and market your invention
- Following the PPA, you have a 12-month window to file a Utility patent
A Non-Provisional Patent is technically the exact opposite of a provisional patent. It is the official application for a patent. If you are serious about protecting your invention, idea, or product then you will want to consider putting in the time and money towards a non-provisional patent. Once you have received a non-provisional patent it allows you to issue enforceable claims. Your invention, idea, or product will be fully protected as long as you perform the patent process correctly and once your patent is issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO).
As a general rule of thumb, we suggest applying for both types of patents because they are very different, but when used together they will make the most of your invention, product, or service.
Preparing and filing a patent application can be extremely complicated and there are many pitfalls that you want to avoid during the patent process. Our company collaborates closely with independent registered patent professionals who will work directly with you through the patent services they provide. They will ensure that the patent application is written in a way that gives you and your idea, product, or service the most possible protection and the highest chance at getting the patent approved.