Under U.S. patent law, a patent gives you the sole property rights to make, use, or sell an invention. This applies to all businesses, entities, and individuals who receive patents nationwide. The purpose of this is to prevent anyone from infringing on the rights to your property. While these rights may be considered a monopoly by some, the U.S. Constitution has always recognized the significance of intellectual property.
Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states:
“Congress shall have the power to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
In continuance of this provision, patents in the U.S. are governed by the United States Patent Act, which contains the federal statutes governing patent laws nationwide. This act in turn led to the establishment of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which is the governing body that oversees the issuance of U.S. patents.
To obtain protection under U.S. patent law, an application must be submitted to the USPTO. A reviewer at the office will determine whether an invention is eligible to be patented.The U.S. Patent Act defines which inventions are patentable, the conditions for patentability, as well as the procedures of the application process.
How long will my patent last?
The most common type of U.S. patent is a utility patent, which lasts for 20 years from the date that it was issued. Plant patents, which protect new varieties of asexually reproducing plants, last for 20 years as well. Patents that protect ornamental designs have a duration of 14 years.
How do I begin the process?
The first step in obtaining your U.S. patent is to make sure that your submission is unique. You must do this by searching the records of the USPTO database. This database includes a nationwide list of all the U.S. patents in existence. This can be done online, or at a Patent and Trademark Depository Library in your area. But a thorough search is only the beginning of a long and sometimes intimidating process.
Where can I find help?
The best thing to do is to get the help of an expert in U.S. patent law. For this you’ll want to find a professional U.S. patent law attorney. A patent law attorney will thoroughly search for conflicts of interest before you submit for your patent, and help you through every step of the application process.
Contacting a Patent Law Attorney
The California patent attorneys at the ADLI Law Group P.C. can handle all of your patent, trademark, and copyright needs. Our firm specializes in technology patents including nuclear energy, optics, computer hardware and software, electronics, and many other fields. Our patent attorneys hold degrees in physics, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and several other technology fields.
We serve clients across Los Angeles County and the U.S., as well as internationally in countries such as China, Taiwan and Japan. Contact us today for experienced help with securing the patent rights to your invention – (213) 290-4933.