What is a patent? A U . S . Patent is actually a “grant of rights” for a limited period. In layman’s terms, it is a contract where the United States Of America government expressly permits an individual or company to monopolize a certain concept for a limited time.
Typically, our government frowns upon any type of monopolization in commerce, as a result of belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. A great example is the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some in the past in to the many regional phone companies. The government, in particular the Justice Department (the governmental agency which prosecutes monopoly or “antitrust” violations), considered that Bell Telephone was an unfair monopoly and forced it to relinquish its monopoly powers on the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the government permit a monopoly as Inventhelp George Foreman Commercial? The government makes an exception to encourage inventors in the future forward with their creations. In doing so, the us government actually promotes advancements in technology and science.
To start with, it needs to be clear for you just how a patent works as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the owner of the patent to prevent anyone else from producing the merchandise or making use of the process covered by the patent. Think of Thomas Edison along with his most popular patented invention, the lighting bulb. Along with his patent for that light bulb, Thomas Edison could prevent any other person or company from producing, using or selling lights without his permission. Essentially, no person could contend with him inside the bulb business, so therefore he possessed a monopoly.
However, in order to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison were required to give something in return. He needed to fully “disclose” his invention for the public.
To have a United States Of America Patent, an inventor must fully disclose 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 to the public which entitles the inventor to your monopoly.The logic for accomplishing this is the fact that by promising inventors a monopoly in return for his or her disclosures to the public, inventors will continually attempt to develop technologies and disclose them to the public. Providing all of them with the monopoly enables them to profit financially through the invention. Without this “tradeoff,” there could be few incentives to build up technologies, because without a patent monopoly an inventor’s hard work would bring him no financial reward.Fearing that their invention could be stolen whenever they attempt to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul with regards to their invention, and also the public would not benefit.
The grant of rights under a patent can last for a restricted period.Utility patents expire two decades when they are filed.If this type of was incorrect, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there would be serious consequences. For instance, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for that light, we would probably need to pay about $300 to buy an easy bulb today.Without competition, there would be little incentive for Edison to boost upon his light.Instead, after the Edison bulb patent expired, everybody was free to manufacture bulbs, and lots of companies did.The vigorous competition to accomplish exactly that after expiration in the Edison patent led to better quality, lower costing bulbs.
Types of patents. You will find essentially three kinds of patents which you should know of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent relates to inventions that have a “functional” aspect (quite simply, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it really “does” something).Quite simply, the thing that is different or “special” concerning the invention must be to get a functional purpose.To be eligible for utility patent protection, an invention must also fall within one or more from the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Take into account that virtually any physical, functional invention will belong to one or more of such categories, so that you do not need to be concerned with which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: think of a “machine” as something which accomplishes a task because of the interaction of the physical parts, like a can opener, an automobile engine, a fax machine, etc.This is the combination and interconnection of such physical parts with which our company is concerned and that are protected from the Inventhelp Product Development.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” ought to be looked at as things which accomplish a job just like a machine, but minus the interaction of numerous physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may seem to be similar in many cases, it is possible to distinguish both by thinking about articles of manufacture as increasing numbers of simplistic items that normally have no moving parts. A paper clip, for example is an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a job (holding papers together), but is clearly not a “machine” because it is a simple device which fails to rely on the interaction of numerous parts.
C) Process: a means of performing something through one or more steps, each step interacting in some way using a physical element, is known as a “process.” An activity could be a new way of manufacturing a known product or can also be a brand new use for a known product. Board games are generally protected being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions like pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds including soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and the like could be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes are frequently protected in this fashion.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of your object, instead of its “utility” or function, which is protected by a utility patent. Put simply, if the invention is a useful object which has a novel shape or overall appearance, a design patent might give you the appropriate protection. To avoid infringement, a copier would need to generate a version that does not look “substantially just like the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the design and overall appearance without infringing the design and style patent.
A provisional patent application is actually a step toward getting a utility patent, in which the invention may not yet anticipate to obtain a utility patent. In other words, when it seems as though the invention cannot yet get yourself a utility patent, the provisional application could be filed in the Patent Office to establish the inventor’s priority for the invention.Since the inventor will continue to develop the invention to make further developments which permit a utility patent to become obtained, then the inventor can “convert” the provisional application to a full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for that date when the provisional application was first filed.
A provisional patent has several benefits:
A) Patent Pending Status: Probably the most popular benefit of a Provisional Patent Application is that it allows the inventor to right away begin marking the merchandise “patent pending.” This has a time-proven tremendous commercial value, similar to the “as seen on TV” label which is placed on many products. A product bearing these two phrases clearly possesses an industrial marketing advantage from the very beginning.
B) Ability to increase 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 try to commercialize the merchandise and assess its potential. If the product appears commercially viable during that year, then the inventor is encouraged to convert the provisional application in to a utility application.However, unlike a normal utility application which should not be changed in any way, a provisional application could have additional material included in it to improve it upon its conversion within 1 year.Accordingly, any helpful information or tips which were obtained through the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization in the product could be implemented and guarded during that time.
C) Establishment of a filing date: The provisional patent application also provides the inventor with a crucial “filing date.” Put simply, the date that this provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for getting a utility patent. When you are certain that your invention is a potential candidate for a utility patent (because it fits within among the statutory classes), you should then move ahead to evaluate 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 if so, whether there is a substantial distinction between it and other products within the related field.
A) Novelty: To obtain a utility patent, you need to initially decide if your invention is “novel”. Put simply, is your invention new?Are you the initial person to possess thought of it? As an example, if you were to make application for a patent on the light, it seems like quite clear which you would not eligible for a patent, considering that the light is not really a new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving your application, would reject it based on the reality that Edison invented the light bulb many years ago. In rejecting your patent application, the Patent Office would actually cite the Edison light patent against you as relevant “prior art” (prior art is everything “known” before your conception in the invention or everything proven to people multiple year before you file a patent application for your invention).
For the invention to be novel with regards to other inventions on the planet (prior art), it must just be different in some minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel spanning a similar invention.If you decide to invent a square light bulb, your invention would really be novel compared to the Edison 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 demonstrate that your invention was not novel, they might be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which can be identical to yours in each and every way your invention lacks novelty and is also not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is very simple to overcome, since any slight variation in shape, size, blend of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, however the invention is novel, it may fail the other requirement mentioned previously: “non-obviousness.” So, in the event that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, tend not to celebrate yet — it is actually harder to fulfill the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As mentioned above, the novelty requirement is definitely the easy obstacle to beat in the pursuit of a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the only real requirement in order to satisfy, then just about everything conceivable might be patented as long as it differed slightly from all of previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a far more difficult, complex requirement must be satisfied after the novelty question is met. This second requirement is referred to as “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states partly that although an invention and also the related prior art may not be “identical” (meaning that the invention is novel with regards to the prior art), the invention may nevertheless be unpatentable if the differences between it and also the related prior art would be considered “obvious” to a person having ordinary skill in the area of the particular invention.
This really is in actuality the Patent and Trademark Office’s way of subjectively judging the “quality” of an invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or otherwise — it really is more often than not quite evident whether any differences exist involving the invention as well as the prior art.With this point there is absolutely no room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there exists a substantial amount of room for many different opinions, because the requirement is inherently subjective: each person, including different Examiners on the Patent Office, could have different opinions regarding whether the invention is really obvious.
Some common types of items that are not usually considered significant, and therefore which can be usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to create something much lighter; changing the size or color; combining pieces of the type commonly found together; substituting one well-known component for another similar component, etc.
IV. What exactly is considered prior art by 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 acquiring a patent. Put simply, it defines exactly those things that the PTO can cite against you in an effort to prove that your particular invention is not in reality novel or to demonstrate that your invention is obvious. These eight sections may be divided into an arranged and understandable format consisting of two main categories: prior art that is dated before your date of “invention” (thus showing that you are currently not the very first inventor); and prior art which extends back before your “filing date” (thus showing which you may have waited too much time to file for any patent).
A) Prior art which goes back before your date of invention: It might seem to seem sensible that if prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you should not be entitled to obtain a patent on that invention as you would not truly be the first inventor. Section 102(a) from the patent law specifically describes the points which can be used prior art if they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in the usa: Any evidence that the invention was “known” by others, in the United States, before your date of invention. Even if there is no patent or written documentation showing that your invention was known in america, the PTO might still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty when they can show that your invention was generally proven to the general public just before your date of invention.
2) Public use in america: Use by others of the invention you are attempting to patent in public in the usa, before your date of invention, can be held against your patent application through the PTO. This should make clear sense, since if someone else was publicly using the invention before you even conceived of it, you obviously cannot be the initial and first inventor of this, and you may not need to get a patent for it.
3) Patented in the United States or abroad: Any United States or foreign patents which issued prior to your date of invention and which disclose your invention will be used against your patent application through the PTO. For instance, think that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO are able to use any patents which disclose an identical lobster de-shelling tool, U . S . 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 U . S . or foreignprinted publications (like books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published just before your date of invention will keep you from obtaining a patent.Again, the reasoning here is that if your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you certainly are not the very first inventor (since someone else thought of it before you decide to) and you also usually are not entitled to patent on it.
B)Prior art which dates 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 known to the public more than one year before your filing of any patent application. This means that in many circumstances, even if you were the first one to have conceived/invented something, you will end up unable to obtain a patent onto it if this has entered the realm of public knowledge and more than one year has gone by between that point and your filing of a patent application. The purpose of this rule would be to persuade folks to try to get patents on the inventions at the earliest opportunity or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) in the patent law defines specifically those types of prior art which is often used against you as being a “one-year bar” as follows:
1) Commercial activity in the usa: In the event the invention you wish to patent was sold or offered for sale in america multiple year before you file a patent application, then you are “barred” from ever getting a patent on the invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of your own invention on January 1, 2008, and offer it on the market on January 3, 2008, so as to raise some funds to apply for a patent. You have to file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (1 year from your day you offered it for sale).In the event you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for instance, the PTO will reject the application as being barred since it was offered on the market more than one year prior to your filing date.This is the case if somebody besides yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still that you simply conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but failed to sell or offer it for sale publicly.You just kept it to yourself.Also assume that on February 1, 2008, someone else conceived of your invention and began selling it. This starts your 1 year clock running!Should you not file a patent on your invention by February 2, 2009, (one year through the date one other person began selling it) then you also will be forever barred from getting a patent. Remember that this provision from the law prevents from getting a patent, even though there is absolutely no prior art dating back to before your date of conception and you truly are the first inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), mainly because the invention was available to the public for over twelve months before your filing date because of the other person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your chances of acquiring a patent even when you are the first inventor and have satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in the usa: If the invention you wish to Inventhelp Office Locations was used in the usa on your part or any other more than one year before your filing of the patent application, then you certainly are “barred” from ever getting a patent on your own invention. Typical samples of public use are whenever you or someone else display and use the invention with a trade event or public gathering, on television, or anywhere else where the public has potential access.The public use do not need to be the one that specifically intends to create the public mindful of the invention. Any use which can be potentially accessed by the public will suffice to begin the one year clock running (but a secret use will usually not invoke the main one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in america or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or other printed publication by you or by someone else, available to the general public in the United States or abroad several year before your filing date, will keep you from getting a patent on your own invention.Remember that even a write-up authored by you, regarding your own invention, will begin usually the one-year clock running.So, for example, if you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it out, this would start usually the one-year clock running.So too would the one-year clock start running to suit your needs in case a complete stranger published a printed article about the subject of your invention.
4) Patented in the usa or abroad: When a U . S . or foreign patent covering your invention issued more than a year prior to your filing date, you will be barred from obtaining a patent. Compare this using the previous section regarding U . S . and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) in the patent law, you happen to be prohibited from acquiring a patent when the filing date of some other patent is earlier than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which our company is discussing here, you are unable to get a patent with an invention which had been disclosed in another patent issued over this past year, even when your date of invention was before the filing date of this patent.