What is a patent? A United States Patent is actually a “grant of rights” for a limited period. In layman’s terms, it is a contract where the United States government expressly permits an individual or company to monopolize a particular concept for a short time.
Typically, our government frowns upon any type of monopolization in commerce, as a result of belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. An excellent example is the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some years back in to the many regional phone companies. The us government, particularly 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 within the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the us government permit a monopoly by means of Inventhelp Intromark? The government makes an exception to encourage inventors in the future forward making use of their creations. By doing this, the government actually promotes advancements in science and technology.
To start with, it ought to be clear to you exactly how a patent works as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the property owner of the patent to stop anyone else from producing the merchandise or making use of the process protected by the patent. Think about Thomas Edison and his most well-known patented invention, the light bulb. Together with his patent for that light, Thomas Edison could prevent every other person or company from producing, using or selling bulbs without his permission. Essentially, no one could compete with him in the light business, and hence he possessed a monopoly.
However, to be able to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison needed to give something in turn. He necessary to fully “disclose” his invention for the public.
To acquire a U . S . Patent, an inventor must fully disclose just what the invention is, how it operates, and the best way known from the inventor to really make it.It is actually this disclosure for the public which entitles the inventor to some monopoly.The logic for carrying this out is that by promising inventors a monopoly in turn for disclosures towards the public, inventors will continually strive to develop new technologies and disclose them to people. Providing all of them with the monopoly enables them to profit financially from the invention. Without it “tradeoff,” there could be few incentives to produce new technologies, because without having a patent monopoly an inventor’s effort will bring him no financial reward.Fearing their invention will be stolen once they make an effort to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul about their invention, and also the public would never benefit.
The grant of rights within patent will last for a small period.Utility patents expire twenty years when they are filed.If the was incorrect, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there could be serious consequences. For instance, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for the light, we might probably have to pay about $300 to get a light bulb today.Without competition, there would be little incentive for Edison to boost upon his light bulb.Instead, once the Edison light patent expired, everyone was able to manufacture bulbs, and many companies did.The vigorous competition to accomplish that after expiration in the Edison patent led to better quality, lower costing bulbs.
Kinds of patents. There are essentially three types of patents which you should know of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent relates to inventions which may have a “functional” aspect (put simply, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it really “does” something).Put simply, the one thing which can be different or “special” concerning the invention must be for any functional purpose.To be eligible for utility patent protection, an invention must also fall within one or more of the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Remember that just about any physical, functional invention will fall into a minumum of one of these categories, so that you do not need to be concerned with which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: imagine a “machine” as something which accomplishes a job as a result of interaction of the physical parts, like a can opener, a car engine, a fax machine, etc.It will be the combination and interconnection of such physical parts that we have been concerned and that are protected by the How To Start An Invention Idea.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” should be looked at as things which accomplish a job just 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 are able to 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 definitely an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a task (holding papers together), but is clearly not really a “machine” as it is a basic device which will not rely on the interaction of numerous parts.
C) Process: a way of doing something through one or more steps, each step interacting somehow using a physical element, is actually a “process.” A procedure can be quite a new method of manufacturing a known product or could even be a new use for a known product. Board games are usually protected being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions like pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds including soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and the like may be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes tend to be protected in this way.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of the object, as opposed to its “utility” or function, which is protected with a utility patent. Quite simply, if the invention is a useful object that has a novel shape or overall appearance, a design patent might supply the appropriate protection. In order to avoid infringement, a copier would have to create a version that does not look “substantially similar to the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the design and overall appearance without infringing the design and style patent.
A provisional patent application is really a step toward getting a utility patent, in which the invention may not yet anticipate to obtain a utility patent. In other words, if this seems like the invention cannot yet obtain a utility patent, the provisional application could be filed within the Patent Office to determine the inventor’s priority to the invention.Because the inventor consistently develop the invention making further developments that allow a utility patent to get obtained, then this inventor can “convert” the provisional application to your full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for that date when the provisional application was filed.
A provisional patent has several benefits:
A) Patent Pending Status: Probably the most well known advantage of a Provisional Patent Application is that it allows the inventor to instantly begin marking the product “patent pending.” It has a time-proven tremendous commercial value, like the “as seen on TV” label which can be placed on many products. A product bearing both these phrases clearly possesses a professional marketing advantage right from the start.
B) Capacity to improve the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has twelve months to “convert” the provisional in to a “full blown” utility application.In that year, the inventor need to try to commercialize the item and assess its potential. If the product appears commercially viable during that year, then the inventor is encouraged to convert the provisional application into a utility application.However, unlike an ordinary utility application which cannot be changed in any way, a provisional application might have additional material included in it to enhance it upon its conversion within twelve months.Accordingly, any helpful tips or tips that had been obtained from the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization of the product could be implemented and protected at that time.
C) Establishment of a filing date: The provisional patent application offers the inventor using a crucial “filing date.” Quite simply, the date that this provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for acquiring a utility patent. When you are certain that your invention is a potential candidate for a utility patent (as it fits within among the statutory classes), you need to then move ahead to analyze whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” Those two requirements are essentially focused on whether your invention is totally new, and in case so, whether you will find a substantial difference between it and other products within the related field.
A) Novelty: To have a utility patent, you need to initially determine whether your invention is “novel”. In other words, is the invention new?Have you been the very first person to get looked at it? For example, if you decide to obtain a patent on the light, it seems quite clear that you would not eligible for a patent, because the bulb will not be a new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving your application, would reject it based on the reality that Edison invented the sunshine bulb many years 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 public multiple year prior to deciding to file a patent application for your invention).
To your invention to become novel with respect to other inventions on the planet (prior art), it must simply be different in certain minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel more than a similar invention.If you decide to invent a square light bulb, your invention would sometimes be novel when compared to the Edison bulb (since his was round/elliptical). When the patent office were to cite the round Edison light bulb against your square one as prior art to demonstrate that your invention was not novel, they would be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which is identical to yours in each and every way your invention lacks novelty and it is not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is very easy to overcome, since any slight variation fit, size, combination of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, although the invention is novel, it may fail one other requirement mentioned above: “non-obviousness.” So, if you find that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, do not celebrate yet — it is actually more difficult to meet the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As mentioned above, the novelty requirement is the easy obstacle to beat in the pursuit of a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the only requirement in order to satisfy, then just about anything conceivable might be patented as long as it differed slightly coming from all previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a much more difficult, complex requirement should be satisfied right after the novelty question for you is met. This second requirement is referred to as “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states in part that although an invention and also the related prior art is probably not “identical” (which means the invention is novel with respect to the prior art), the invention may nevertheless be unpatentable if the differences between it and the related prior art will be considered “obvious” to someone having ordinary skill in the area of the specific invention.
This can be in actuality the Patent and Trademark Office’s means of subjectively judging the “quality” of an invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or not — it is actually typically quite evident whether any differences exist in between your invention and the prior art.On this point there is absolutely no room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there exists a substantial amount of room for many different opinions, since the requirement is inherently subjective: different people, including different Examiners at the Patent Office, could have different opinions regarding whether the invention is definitely obvious.
Some common examples of items that are certainly not usually considered significant, and so which are usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to help make something lighter in weight; changing the dimensions or color; combining pieces of what type commonly found together; substituting one well known component for the next 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 could be used to keep you from acquiring a patent. Quite simply, it defines exactly those ideas in which the PTO can cite against you so as to prove that the invention will not be in fact novel or even to demonstrate 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 currently not the first inventor); and prior art which goes back just before your “filing date” (thus showing that you might have waited too much time to file for a patent).
A) Prior art which dates back before your date of invention: It might manage to make sense that in case prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you must not be entitled to have a patent on that invention as you would not truly be the first inventor. Section 102(a) from the patent law specifically describes those things which bring prior art if they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in the United States: Any evidence that your invention was “known” by others, in america, just before your date of invention. Even if you have no patent or written documentation showing that your particular invention was known in the usa, the PTO can still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty if they can demonstrate that your invention was generally known to people just before your date of invention.
2) Public use in america: Use by others of the invention you are attempting to patent in public places in the United States, before your date of invention, can be held against your patent application by the PTO. This ought to make clear sense, since if someone else was publicly making use of the invention even before you conceived of this, you obviously can not be the original and first inventor from it, and you may not deserve to obtain a patent because of it.
3) Patented in the usa or abroad: Any United States Of America or foreign patents which issued prior to your date of invention and which disclose your invention will likely be used against your patent application through the PTO. For example, assume that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO may 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 or abroad: Any United States Of America or foreignprinted publications (like books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published prior to your date of invention will prevent you from acquiring a patent.Again, the reasoning here is when your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you definitely are certainly not the very first inventor (since another person considered it prior to deciding to) and also you are not entitled to patent onto it.
B)Prior art which extends back prior to your filing date: As noted above, prior art was defined as everything known before your conception of the invention or everything known to people multiple year before your filing of any patent application. Therefore that in many circumstances, even though you were the first to have conceived/invented something, you will be unable to obtain a patent into it when it has entered the world of public knowledge and more than one year has gone by between that time and your filing of a patent application. The purpose of this rule would be to persuade folks to get patents on the inventions as soon as possible or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) of the patent law defines specifically those varieties of prior art which can be used against you being a “one-year bar” as follows:
1) Commercial activity in the United States: When the invention you wish to patent was sold or offered for sale in the United States more than one year before you file a patent application, then you definitely are “barred” from ever getting a patent on your invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of your invention on January 1, 2008, and provide it on the market on January 3, 2008, in an attempt to raise some funds to try to get a patent. You must file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (twelve months from the day you offered it for sale).Should you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for instance, the PTO will reject the application for being barred because it was offered available for sale multiple year before your filing date.This too would be the case if someone besides yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still that you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but failed to sell or offer it on the market publicly.You simply kept it to yourself.Also think that on February 1, 2008, someone else conceived of the invention and began selling it. This starts your 1 year clock running!Unless you file a patent on your own invention by February 2, 2009, (1 year from the date another person began selling it) then you definitely also is going to be forever barred from getting a patent. Note that this provision in the law prevents you against getting a patent, even though there is no prior art dating back to to before your date of conception and you also really are the very first inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), simply because the invention was available to the general public for over one year before your filing date because of one other person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your chances of obtaining a patent even when you are the first inventor and possess satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in the United States: In the event the invention you want to Inventhelp Office was applied in the usa on your part or another several year before your filing of a patent application, then you definitely are “barred” from ever obtaining a patent on the invention. Typical samples of public use are when you or another person display and make use of the invention in a trade exhibition or public gathering, on television, or somewhere else where the general public has potential access.People use will not need to be one which specifically plans to have the public aware of the invention. Any use which can be potentially accessed from 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 the United States or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or other printed publication on your part or by another person, available to the general public in the United States or abroad more than one year before your filing date, will stop you from acquiring a patent on the invention.Be aware that even a write-up published by you, regarding your own invention, begins the main one-year clock running.So, for instance, should you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it out, this might start usually the one-year clock running.So too would the one-year clock start running for you personally if a complete stranger published a printed article about the subject of your invention.
4) Patented in the United States or abroad: In case a United States or foreign patent covering your invention issued spanning a year before your filing date, you will be barred from getting a patent. Compare this using the previous section regarding U . S . and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) of the patent law, you happen to be prohibited from acquiring a patent if the filing date of another patent is sooner than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which our company is discussing here, you cannot obtain a patent on an invention that was disclosed in another patent issued over a year ago, even when your date of invention was ahead of the filing date of this patent.