When most people hear the word “patent,” they probably think about machines and equipment in science and technology. What probably does not pop into most people’s minds is food. Unbeknownst to most, food can be patented. Take the broccoli tot, for example, which was created to help children eat broccoli, a food to which children are usually averse. If you have a food idea that you are interested in obtaining a patent for, contact the Los Angeles patent law attorneys at Verhagen Bennett to find out what you need to obtain a patent and how to file a successful patent application.
What is a Food Patent?
There are many categories of inventions that can be patented, and they include processes, machines, manufacture, or compositions of matter. Food patents typically fall under the compositions of matter category and have additional requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a patent, which are discussed in more detail below.
Searching for Existing Patents
If you have an idea for a new food, the first step toward patenting that idea is to search through existing patents to make sure there is not already a patent on the food you are trying to create. You can either search through the patent database on the USPTO website or you can hire an attorney who is well-versed in patent law to conduct the search for you. By going with the latter option, you are ensuring that no page goes unturned and every little detail is noted and taken into consideration when deciding whether to pursue a patent on your food idea. It is important to start with this step, as the last thing you want to do is waste your time preparing a patent application on a food idea that already exists and has a patent attached to it.
How can I Obtain a Food Patent?
After you conduct your patent search and determine that there are no existing patents on your food idea, you can start thinking about filing a patent application. Since patent applications are lengthy and can be quite complex, you would be well-advised to seek out the help of a legal professional who is familiar not only with filing patent applications but also with all aspects of patent law to help you prepare your application.
In order to obtain a patent on your food idea, it must be new and nonobvious. That means your food idea must either combine a unique set of ingredients or include a unique way of preparing it. If a typical chef would be able to think up your food idea, then it is most likely not nonobvious.
The last thing to keep in mind with food patents is that there is a disclosure requirement that the inventor discloses the ingredients of the food as well as how it is made. The inventor must also teach the public how to make the food, and it must be easy enough that the general public is able to make it using the instructions provided.
Contact a Patent Law Attorney Today
If you are located in the Santa Monica or greater Los Angeles area and have a food idea that you want to patent but are unsure how to proceed, contact a patent law expert at Verhagen Bennett today. Our patent law attorneys have helped numerous businesses successfully obtain patents for their food ideas and are here to help you do the same. Contact us online or at 310-917-1064 today for your free consultation.
(image courtesy of Jennifer Pallian)
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© 2018 Verhagen Bennett LLP — This article is for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.