Things to Know about Patent Law
If you’ve come up with a great invention and need to file a patent to make sure no one else is able to develop and sell the same invention, there are some things you need to know about finding a patent lawyer in NYC and filing the patent itself. Here’s what you need to know.
Types of Patents
A patent is basically your right to stop others from copying your invention and selling it themselves for a certain amount of time. There are three types of patents. The first is a utility patent, which protects functional devices. A design patent is for non-functional components of an invention, like the aesthetic components. Plant patents protect new varieties of plants. Patents only protect fully developed inventions, not ideas.
Patent law in NYC allows an inventor to submit a provisional patent application, which means the inventor can claim that an invention has a patent pending. You’re allowed to make this claim even if an application hasn’t been approved as long as a regular or non-provisional application has been submitted.
Basically, anything that can be manufactured can be patented. In order to qualify for a patent, an invention needs to be novel, meaning there must be something totally unique about it and no one else can have a patent on the same invention. In addition, the invention needs to be useful as well as non-obvious. There’s also a principle called enablement, which means that the inventor has to be able to describe an invention well enough that someone else would be able to make it using those instructions. It also includes describing the best way to use the invention.
Rights from a Patent
A patent not only keeps others from making the same invention, it also gives the inventor the right to sue others who attempt to sell the same invention. This is called infringement, and a court can force the other party to stop infringing and award damages as well.
Filing a Patent
Filing a patent can be a detailed process, so it’s recommended that you hire a patent lawyer in NYC to help you through the process. Only the inventor or his or her attorney can file the application. In addition, be sure to do extensive research on the U.S. Patent Database to make sure no one else already holds the patent on your invention.