Patent Law FAQS: How to Get a Patent

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Is it necessary to physically create the invention before filing for a patent?

No. Actual reduction to practice is not required because constructive reduction occurs when a patent application is filed. In some circumstances, actual reduction to practice is preferred because the patent is limited to what is disclosed at the time of filing and it may be difficult to describe a precise solution to a problem without actual implementation. On the other hand, concept patents, without actual implementation, may prove valuable, especially where multiple filings follow in direct relation to technical improvements, innovations and developments.

How long does it take to obtain a patent?

The patenting process varies in length depending on the technical field of the invention and the workload of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In general, it takes 1 to 3 years to receive examination and obtain final deliberation for an application, although in certain technology areas the process can take considerably longer. During the entire patent prosecution process, the invention as contained within the application is considered "patent pending."

How long is a patent valid?

Twenty (20) years from the date of filing.

What can be patented?

The law defines patentable subject matter as "any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter or any useful improvement thereof." As definition this relates to technology, patents are granted for a broad array of technology including telecommunications, software, business methods, Internet-based and e-commerce applications, mechanical, medical devices, biotechnology, and others.

How do I choose a Patent Attorney?

A Patent Attorney is like any other professional and should be someone with whom you are comfortable and upon whom you can rely. You should verify that he or she is registered to practice with the Patent and Trademark Office. Also, for some technology areas, it is usually preferred that the patent attorney has an understanding of the general nature of the technology and a background in the technical area through education and work experience. Similar to a patent agent, a patent attorney can prosecute patent applications before the USPTO on behalf of inventors but in addition have specialized legal training. Thus, a patent attorney can provide legal advice in regards to legal issues such as patent infringement and patent validity whereas a patent agent cannot. Often times, a patent agent works underneath and under the supervision of a registered patent attorney.

Free Consultation with a Patent Law Attorney

If you are looking for a Patent Attorney, please contact us to schedule your free initial consultation. We service clients all across the United States and internationally. We pride ourselves on being approachable for we take the time to explain complex patent issues and procedures to our Clients. Our Patent Attorneys, including a former USPTO patent examiner, are experts in negotiating and communicating with the USPTO to ensure that the application receives efficient and proper review throughout the registration process. Whether it is responding to office actions arguing for registration or personally conducting in-person interviews with the patent examiner at the patent office, our patent Attorneys have the experience and expertise to handle all matters.

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