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 in which the United States government expressly permits an individual or company to monopolize a certain concept for a short time.
Typically, our government frowns upon any type of monopolization in commerce, because of the belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. A good example will be the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some in the past in to the many regional phone companies. The us government, specifically the Justice Department (the governmental agency which prosecutes monopoly or “antitrust” violations), believed that Bell Telephone was an unfair monopoly and forced it to relinquish its monopoly powers on the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the federal government permit a monopoly by means of Inventhelp Number? The federal government makes an exception to encourage inventors to come forward with their creations. In doing so, 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 owner of the patent to avoid someone else from producing the item or making use of the process included in the patent. Think of Thomas Edison along with his most well-known patented invention, the light bulb. Along with his patent for your light, Thomas Edison could prevent every other person or company from producing, using or selling bulbs without his permission. Essentially, no person could compete with him in the bulb business, and therefore he possessed a monopoly.
However, in order to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison needed to give something in exchange. He required to fully “disclose” his invention for the public.
To acquire a United States Of America Patent, an inventor must fully disclose just what the invention is, the actual way it operates, and the most effective way known by the inventor to make it.It is actually this disclosure for the public which entitles the inventor to some monopoly.The logic for carrying this out is the fact by promising inventors a monopoly in exchange for his or her disclosures towards the public, inventors will continually attempt to develop new technologies and disclose those to people. Providing them with the monopoly allows them to profit financially through the invention. Without this “tradeoff,” there would be few incentives to develop technologies, because without having a patent monopoly an inventor’s effort would bring him no financial reward.Fearing that their invention will be stolen once they make an effort to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul about their invention, as well as the public would never benefit.
The grant of rights under a patent will last for a limited period.Utility patents expire 20 years after they are filed.If this type of was not the case, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there could be serious consequences. For instance, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for your light, we may probably have to pay about $300 to purchase a light bulb today.Without competition, there could be little incentive for Edison to improve upon his light bulb.Instead, once the Edison light bulb patent expired, everybody was liberated to manufacture lights, and lots of companies did.The vigorous competition to accomplish just that after expiration from the Edison patent led to higher quality, lower costing light bulbs.
Varieties of patents. You can find essentially three kinds of patents which you ought to know of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent applies to inventions which may have a “functional” aspect (put simply, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it actually “does” something).Put simply, the thing which can be different or “special” concerning the invention must be for a functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention must also fall within at least one of the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Remember that just about any physical, functional invention will fall into at least one of those categories, so you will not need to be concerned with which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: imagine a “machine” as a thing that accomplishes a job as a result of interaction of their physical parts, like a can opener, a car engine, a fax machine, etc.It is the combination and interconnection of those physical parts in which we are concerned and which are protected by the Inventhelp New Store Products.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” needs to be regarded as items that accomplish a task like a machine, but without the interaction of various physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may seem to be similar in many instances, you can distinguish the 2 by thinking about articles of manufacture as more simplistic things that typically have no moving parts. A paper clip, for instance is definitely an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a task (holding papers together), but is clearly not just a “machine” since it is a simple device which fails to rely on the interaction of varied parts.
C) Process: a means of accomplishing something through several steps, each step interacting in some way having a physical element, is known as a “process.” A procedure could be a new approach to manufacturing a known product or can even be a brand new use for a known product. Board games are generally protected being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions such as pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds such as soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and so forth could be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes tend to be protected in this manner.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of your object, rather than its “utility” or function, which is protected with a utility patent. Put simply, when the invention is a useful object that includes a novel shape or overall look, a design patent might provide the appropriate protection. To prevent infringement, a copier would have to generate a version that will not look “substantially like the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the shape and overall look without infringing the design and style patent.
A provisional patent application is really a step toward getting a utility patent, where invention might not exactly yet anticipate to get a utility patent. Quite simply, if this seems like the invention cannot yet get yourself a utility patent, the provisional application may be filed within the Patent Office to determine the inventor’s priority for the invention.Because the inventor consistently develop the invention and make further developments which permit a utility patent to become obtained, then your inventor can “convert” the provisional application to a full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for the date once the provisional application was filed.
A provisional patent has several advantages:
A) Patent Pending Status: The most well-known benefit from a Provisional Patent Application is that it allows the inventor to instantly begin marking the merchandise “patent pending.” It has a time-proven tremendous commercial value, just like the “as seen on television” label that is placed on many products. A product or service bearing these two phrases clearly possesses a professional marketing advantage right from the start.
B) Capability to improve the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has twelve months to “convert” the provisional into a “full blown” utility application.In that year, the inventor need to commercialize the item and assess its potential. If the product appears commercially viable in that year, then this inventor is motivated to convert the provisional application in to a utility application.However, unlike an ordinary utility application which cannot be changed by any means, a provisional application could have additional material added to it to enhance it upon its conversion within one year.Accordingly, any helpful information or tips which were obtained through the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization of the product can be implemented and protected during that time.
C) Establishment of the filing date: The provisional patent application also provides the inventor with a crucial “filing date.” In other words, the date that this provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for obtaining a utility patent. When you are certain your invention is a potential candidate to get a utility patent (since it fits within one of the statutory classes), you should then move ahead to analyze whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” Both of these requirements are essentially concerned with whether your invention is totally new, and when so, whether there exists a substantial difference between it and other products inside the related field.
A) Novelty: To obtain a utility patent, you have to initially determine whether your invention is “novel”. Put simply, is your invention new?Are you the very first person to possess looked at it? As an example, if you were to make application for a patent on the bulb, it seems like quite clear that you would not be eligible for a patent, since the light is not really a brand new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving your application, would reject it dependant on the fact that Edison invented the light bulb many years ago. In rejecting your patent application, the Patent Office would actually cite the Edison bulb patent against you as relevant “prior art” (prior art is everything “known” before your conception of the invention or everything recognized to the general public several year before you decide to file a patent application for your invention).
For the invention to become novel with regards to other inventions on earth (prior art), it has to simply be different in certain minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel spanning a similar invention.If you were to invent a square light bulb, your invention would actually be novel when compared to Edison light bulb (since his was round/elliptical). In the event the patent office would cite the round Edison light bulb against your square one as prior art to exhibit that your invention was not novel, they would be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which is identical to yours in every way your invention lacks novelty and it is not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is very easy to overcome, since any slight variation in shape, size, combination of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, however the invention is novel, it could fail another requirement mentioned above: “non-obviousness.” So, if you find that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, do not celebrate yet — it is harder to meet the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As stated before, the novelty requirement is the easy obstacle to beat within the quest for a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the sole requirement in order to satisfy, then just about anything conceivable might be patented provided that it differed slightly from all of previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a far more difficult, complex requirement must be satisfied after the novelty question for you is met. This second requirement is known as “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states to some extent that although an invention as well as the related prior art might not be “identical” (which means the invention is novel with regards to the prior art), the invention may nevertheless be unpatentable when the differences between it and also the related prior art will be considered “obvious” to a person having ordinary skill in the field of the actual invention.
This is in actuality the Patent and Trademark Office’s means of subjectively judging the “quality” of the invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or otherwise not — it is actually typically quite evident whether any differences exist in between your invention as well as the prior art.With this point there is no room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there is certainly quite a bit of room for various opinions, considering that the requirement is inherently subjective: each person, including different Examiners at the Patent Office, could have different opinions regarding if the invention is really obvious.
Some common examples of things which are certainly not usually considered significant, and thus which are usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to make something much lighter; changing the size and style or color; combining items of the type commonly found together; substituting one well known component for the next similar component, etc.
IV. What exactly is considered prior art from the Patent Office?
The patent laws, specifically 35 U.S.C. section 102, outline eight major types of prior art which can be used to stop you from obtaining a patent. Put simply, it defines exactly those things which the PTO can cite against you in an attempt to prove that your invention is not in fact novel or show that your invention is obvious. These eight sections could be divided into an arranged and understandable format consisting of two main categories: prior art which can be dated before your date of “invention” (thus showing that you are not the initial inventor); and prior art which extends back before your “filing date” (thus showing that you might have waited very long to file to get a patent).
A) Prior art which extends back prior to your date of invention: It could appear to seem sensible that in case prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you must not be entitled to obtain a patent on that invention since you would not truly be the first inventor. Section 102(a) of the patent law specifically describes the things which can be used as prior art if they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in america: Any evidence that the invention was “known” by others, in the usa, just before your date of invention. Even if there is no patent or written documentation showing that the invention was known in america, the PTO may still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty if they can demonstrate that your invention was generally known to the general public prior to your date of invention.
2) Public use in america: Use by others of the invention you are trying to patent in public in the United States, just before your date of invention, may be held against your patent application from the PTO. This should make clear sense, since if a person else was publicly using the invention before you even conceived of this, you obviously should not be the initial and first inventor of this, and you may not should get a patent for this.
3) Patented in america or abroad: Any United States or foreign patents which issued before your date of invention and which disclose your invention will be used against your patent application through the PTO. For instance, believe that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO may use any patents which disclose the same lobster de-shelling tool, United States Of America or foreign, which issued before June 1, 2007 (your date of invention) against your patent application.
4) Published publicly in United States Of America or abroad: Any United States or foreignprinted publications (such as books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published before your date of invention will stop you from getting a patent.Again, the reasoning here is that if your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you are not the very first inventor (since somebody else considered it prior to deciding to) and you also are not entitled to patent on it.
B)Prior art which extends back just before your filing date: As noted above, prior art was described as everything known prior to your conception of the invention or everything proven to people several year before your filing of the patent application. This means that in numerous circumstances, even though you were the first to have conceived/invented something, you may be unable to acquire a patent on it if it has entered the realm of public knowledge and over twelve months has passed between that time and your filing of any patent application. The objective of this rule is always to persuade folks to get patents on the inventions at the earliest opportunity or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) of the patent law defines specifically those kinds of prior art which may be used against you as being a “one-year bar” the following:
1) Commercial activity in the usa: When the invention you want to patent was sold or offered for sale in the United States multiple year before you file a patent application, then you are “barred” from ever obtaining a patent on your invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of your invention on January 1, 2008, and provide it available for sale on January 3, 2008, in an effort to raise some funds to apply for a patent. You need to file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (twelve months through the day you offered it available for sale).In the event you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for example, the PTO will reject your application for being barred since it was offered on the market multiple year prior to your filing date.This too would be the case if somebody other than yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still that you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but did not sell or offer it on the market publicly.You simply kept it to yourself.Also believe that on February 1, 2008, another person conceived of your own invention and began selling it. This starts your twelve months clock running!Should you not file a patent on the invention by February 2, 2009, (twelve months from the date the other person began selling it) then you also will be forever barred from acquiring a patent. Be aware that this provision of the law prevents you from obtaining a patent, despite the fact that there is absolutely no prior art going back to before your date of conception and you also are indeed the first inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), mainly because the invention was offered to the general public for more than one year before your filing date due to one other person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your odds of acquiring a patent even when you are the initial inventor and possess satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in america: When the invention you want to How To Invent A Product was used in america on your part or any other multiple year before your filing of the patent application, then you definitely are “barred” from ever acquiring a patent on the invention. Typical samples of public use are when you or someone else display and use the invention in a trade event or public gathering, on television, or anywhere else where the general public has potential access.People use will not need to be the one that specifically promises to have the public aware of the invention. Any use which may be potentially accessed by the public will suffice to begin with the one year clock running (but a secret use will most likely not invoke the one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in america or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or some other printed publication on your part or by someone else, available to the general public in the United States or abroad multiple year before your filing date, will prevent you from acquiring a patent on your own invention.Note that even a write-up authored by you, concerning your own invention, will begin the one-year clock running.So, for instance, should you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it out, this might start the one-year clock running.So too would the main one-year clock start running for you personally if a complete stranger published a printed article about the main topic of your invention.
4) Patented in the usa or abroad: If a United States Of America or foreign patent covering your invention issued spanning a year before your filing date, you will end up barred from getting a patent. Compare this with the previous section regarding United States Of America and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) in the patent law, you might be prohibited from acquiring a patent in the event the filing date of some other patent is sooner than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which we are discussing here, you can not get yourself a patent on an invention which had been disclosed in another patent issued over a year ago, even when your date of invention was ahead of the filing date of this patent.