If you have a great idea that is truly viable, you may have questions about how to get started with patents. The first step is to complete an application that will allow you to apply for a patent through the U.S. government. This will give you the right to protect both your invention from others who may try to steal or blatantly copy it.
It is best to work with an intellectual property attorney or patent lawyer as soon as possible. This is because patent law in the United States has changed. Now, the first person to register the patent is the one legally protected in court, not the first person to come up with the idea. It is important to be aware of that distinction.
Determining the type of patent you need is essential in avoiding any minor legal issues at the beginning of the process.
What Patent is Best for You?
Due to the wide array of patents for which you can register, you need to know the one that is most suited for protecting your idea or invention.
A patent for a plant may be given to someone who discovers and asexually creates a new variety of plant through reproduction. To ensure a unique plant is created during the asexual reproductive process, genetic seeds can not be used.
A design patent protects the aesthetic aspects of a product. It protects the visual components, shape, or design that is applied to or embodied in your product. The creation of a design patent means you have created a new ornamental or decorative component to an item.
For example, if you have invented a new bicycle with a conceptual design never seen before, you will have to apply for a design patent only if the bicycle’s invention is limited to the ornamental or decorative feature(s).
If the functionality of the bicycle is also part of the invention, you will also have to file for a utility patent.
The most commonly issued patent is the utility patent. It covers how something works and the way it is used. Machines, a composition of matter or a manufacturing process would all be protected under a utility patent.
A patent of this nature is meant to encompass inventions that have a purpose or function like a new hand saw, motorcycle engine, computer, etc.
An effective way of protecting original computer software is by acquiring a software patent. To patent a software, it must fall under the same criteria as any other invention that is patentable. The software must be new, useful, and unique if presented to someone familiar with computer software industry. Unlike the other patents, one for computer software must fall under one of the previously mentioned patent categories — plant, design, or utility.
Hire an Experienced Patent Lawyer in Los Angeles
At Verhagen Bennett, we provide legal services that genuinely add value to your organization. Our experienced attorneys will focus on protecting your creations and ideas using trademarks, copyrights, and patents. To protect the patents of our clients, we prepare applications of the highest quality and defend those applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
If a competing business or individual is infringing upon the rights of your patent or copyright, we will aggressively protect your intellectual property rights. We will also defend them in state or federal court if necessary.
Does your trademark need protection, as well? If so, our skilled lawyers will prepare and submit your application efficiently, allowing you to acquire your federal trademark registration as quickly as possible. Regardless of your professional needs, the attorneys at Verhagen Bennett will work with you closely to ensure your IP rights are safeguarded.
Call (310) 917-1064 or schedule an appointment to learn how we can help you.
(image courtesy of Jon Tyson)
© 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.