November 20, 2018
So you have an idea and want to get an invention patent? There are a number of things that you need to know about the invention and patent process that can help you focus your efforts and know what obstacles lay in front of you.
A patent is a grant of the exclusive right to an invention. In the United States the exclusive authority to grant patents for inventions is given to Congress through the Constitution. The United States Patent Office is the entity that issues patents to inventors.
An invention patent is a legal property right. Specifically, it gives its owner the right to exclude others from making, using or selling the claimed invention for a limited time (i.e. the term of the patent). The owner does not need a patent to make, use or sell the invention, but only to stop others from doing so.
Now you should ask yourself why it is that you want an invention patent. Obtaining a patent can be the best decision, and may even be the best business move you could make. Nevertheless, what you need to understand is that most patents do not make inventors money.
Furthermore, based on the patents granted Patent Office these days, the question should not be whether you can get a patent, but rather whether any invention patent you are able to obtain is worth the investment. In other words, is the scope of protection meaningful?
Will the patent you receive actually be able to prevent competitors from making, using, selling and importing your invention? Is there a market for your invention? These and other questions should be considered.
Types Of Patents
There are three types of patents:
1) Utility patents the most numerous type of patent, it is issued for useful devices, materials and processes.
2) Design patents issued for useful designs;
3) Plant patents issued for asexually reproducing plants.
To be granted a patent, the invention must meet the three criteria of new, useful and non-obvious. New means that the invention must be different from the prior art in its area. Useful means that the invention must be practical as opposed to artistic in nature. Non-Obvious means that when it is viewed as a whole, the invention must not have been an obvious improvement in the invention’s field of art when viewed by one of ordinary skill in that field.