Rights of the Inventor When Applying for a Patent
The patent application process can be complicated yet necessary to protect your rights as an inventor. You may find the patent application process is simplified by hiring a trusted Los Angeles patent attorney to help you organize your documentation and provide counsel should any problems arise during or after the patent application process.
Your Rights Before Approval
Some inventors may research an invention promotion company to patent and promote their invention. The Inventors Rights Act of 1999 was enacted to protect such inventors from the fraudulent practices of certain invention promotion companies. Furthermore, the act requires invention promoters to disclose in writing their positive and negative evaluations for inventions over a 5-year period, as well as their customers’ net financial success as a direct result of their promotional services.
In some cases, the use of these companies can be beneficial, but also very expensive and risky. Not all invention promotion companies have actual attorneys—who must be licensed by the state as well as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)—some employ “patent agents” which are non-attorneys who have been approved by the USPTO.
A sound alternative to an invention promotion company is a Los Angeles patent attorney who has training in your specific field of invention. Your Los Angeles patent attorney can perform a patent search to ensure your idea or invention is patentable and assist you through the patent application process improving your chances of approval. Most importantly, your Los Angeles patent attorney will make certain that your rights as an inventor are protected.
Your Rights After Approval
If your patent application is approved, you’ve succeeded in guaranteeing ownership of your invention or idea. This gives you control over many things regarding your patented material including:
- who may or may not use the patented invention;
- who may license the use of the patented invention; and
- the sale of the patent.
These rights are only guaranteed under patent law until you sell the patent to another party or the patent expires naturally.
What happens if my rights are violated?
You have taken the time and effort to go through the patent application process and suddenly you find that your patented design, process, or product is being used by another party without your permission – what is your legal recourse? A Los Angeles patent attorney can help you structure a patent infringement claim against the offending party to cease operations and recover damages.
Unless you provide express permission for the use, licensing, or sale of your patented idea or invention, you are the sole party allowed to use or produce it. If you are ever in question about a violation of your patent, you should consult with a Los Angeles patent attorney right away to discuss your options.
The patent application makes it clear the methods and design of your invention, and you owe it to yourself to investigate any suspicions that your patent is being used improperly. There is no reason someone else should profit from your hard work, especially after the expense and trouble of making it through the patent application process.
Employment May Cause Exceptions to the Rules
If your idea or invention was created while employed by a company, there is a chance that your employer may actually retain the rights to patent your invention. There are many factors that go into determining this possibility, including:
- if you were specifically hired to create the invention or process;
- if you used company materials, tools, time and facilities;
- if you used trade secrets learned while employed with the company;
- if you signed an express contract that assigned the employer rights to your inventions; and/or
- if you are considered an officer of the company.
The Los Angeles patent attorneys at the ADLI Law Group P.C. specialize in Intellectual Property and Business Law.
When it comes to the strength of ADLI Law Group’s intellectual property practice, you need not take our word for it – we are a definitive presence in this arena. We handle all aspects of acquisition and litigation with respect to patents, trademarks, counterfeiting, trade secrets, unfair competition, and copyrights, including trials and appeals, and proceedings before the International Trade Commission (ITC), as well as business transactions, litigation, and licensing. Contact us today for experienced help with securing your rights and interests to your invention – (213) 223-2365.