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 government expressly permits an individual or company to monopolize a specific concept for a limited time.
Typically, our government frowns upon any sort of monopolization in commerce, because of the belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. A good example will be 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), thought that Bell Telephone was an unfair monopoly and forced it to relinquish its monopoly powers over the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the us government permit a monopoly by means of Invention Website? The us government makes an exception to encourage inventors in the future forward making use of their creations. By doing this, the federal government actually promotes advancements in science and technology.
To start with, it needs to be clear to you personally exactly how a patent works as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the owner of the patent to prevent someone else from producing the product or using the process protected by the patent. Think of Thomas Edison along with his most popular patented invention, the light bulb. Together with his patent for that light, Thomas Edison could prevent some other person or company from producing, using or selling lights without his permission. Essentially, no one could compete with him inside the light business, so therefore he possessed a monopoly.
However, in order to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison were required to give something in exchange. He required to fully “disclose” his invention for the public.
To acquire a United States Patent, an inventor must fully disclose just what the invention is, how it operates, and the most effective way known through the inventor to really make it.It is actually this disclosure for the public which entitles the inventor to some monopoly.The logic for carrying this out is that by promising inventors a monopoly in turn for disclosures to the public, inventors will continually strive to develop technologies and disclose those to people. Providing them with the monopoly enables them to profit financially from the invention. Without this “tradeoff,” there would be few incentives to produce new technologies, because without having a patent monopoly an inventor’s effort will bring him no financial reward.Fearing that the invention will be stolen when they attempt to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul about their invention, as well as the public would not benefit.
The grant of rights under a patent can last for a restricted period.Utility patents expire twenty years once they are filed.If the was incorrect, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there will be serious consequences. For example, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for that bulb, we may probably have to pay about $300 to buy a light bulb today.Without competition, there would be little incentive for Edison to enhance upon his bulb.Instead, when the Edison light bulb patent expired, everybody was able to manufacture bulbs, and many companies did.The vigorous competition to accomplish just that after expiration from the Edison patent led to better quality, lower costing light bulbs.
Types of patents. There are essentially three types of patents which you ought to know of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent relates to inventions that have a “functional” aspect (in other words, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it genuinely “does” something).Put simply, the thing that is different or “special” concerning the invention must be for a functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention must also fall within a minumum of one of the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Remember that virtually any physical, functional invention will fall into at least one of such categories, which means you do not need to be concerned with which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: consider a “machine” as a thing that accomplishes a task as a result of interaction of the physical parts, like a can opener, an automobile engine, a fax machine, etc.It will be the combination and interconnection of these physical parts in which we have been concerned and which are protected from the What Is A Patent.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” ought to be regarded as things which accomplish a job similar to a machine, but with no interaction of numerous physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may are most often similar in many cases, it is possible to distinguish the two by considering articles of manufacture as increasing numbers of simplistic things which normally have no moving parts. A paper clip, as an example is surely an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a job (holding papers together), but is clearly not really a “machine” because it is a basic device which will not rely on the interaction of numerous parts.
C) Process: a way of accomplishing something through a number of steps, each step interacting in some way having a physical element, is known as a “process.” A process can be a new way of manufacturing a known product or can also be a brand new use for any known product. Board games are typically protected as being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions such as pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds including soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and so on may be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes are often protected in this manner.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of your object, instead of its “utility” or function, that is protected by way of a utility patent. In other words, when the invention is a useful object that includes a novel shape or overall appearance, a design patent might give you the appropriate protection. To prevent infringement, a copier would need to create a version that fails to look “substantially like the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the form and overall appearance without infringing the design and style patent.
A provisional patent application is a step toward acquiring a utility patent, in which the invention may not yet be ready to get a utility patent. In other words, when it seems like the invention cannot yet get a utility patent, the provisional application might be filed in the Patent Office to establish the inventor’s priority towards the invention.Because the inventor consistently develop the invention and make further developments that allow a utility patent to be obtained, then your inventor can “convert” the provisional application to some full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for your date when the provisional application was filed.
A provisional patent has several positive aspects:
A) Patent Pending Status: Probably the most well known advantage of a Provisional Patent Application is it allows the inventor to instantly begin marking the product “patent pending.” It has a period-proven tremendous commercial value, just like the “as seen on television” label which can be put on many products. A product or service bearing these two phrases clearly possesses a professional marketing advantage from the very beginning.
B) Capacity to enhance the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has twelve months to “convert” the provisional into a “full blown” utility application.During that year, the inventor need to try to commercialize the item and assess its potential. In the event the product appears commercially viable in that year, then this inventor is motivated to convert the provisional application into a utility application.However, unlike a normal utility application which cannot be changed in any way, a provisional application could have additional material added to it to enhance it upon its conversion within 1 year.Accordingly, any helpful tips or tips that were obtained from the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization from the product could be implemented and guarded during those times.
C) Establishment of a filing date: The provisional patent application offers the inventor using a crucial “filing date.” Quite simply, the date that the provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for obtaining a utility patent. Once you are sure that your invention is a potential candidate for any utility patent (because it fits within one of the statutory classes), you should then move ahead to analyze whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” Both of these requirements are essentially focused on whether your invention is totally new, and in case so, whether there exists a substantial difference between it and similar products inside the related field.
A) Novelty: To have a utility patent, you must initially decide if your invention is “novel”. Quite simply, is the invention new?Have you been the very first person to have looked at it? For example, should you obtain a patent on the bulb, it appears quite clear which you would not eligible to a patent, considering that the light is not a new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving your application, would reject it based on the reality that Edison invented the sunshine bulb a long time 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” prior to your conception of the invention or everything proven to the public multiple year prior to deciding to file a patent application for your invention).
For the invention to be novel with regards to other inventions on earth (prior art), it has to simply be different in some minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel over a similar invention.If you decide to invent a square bulb, your invention would sometimes be novel compared to the Edison light (since his was round/elliptical). When the patent office were to cite the round Edison light against your square one as prior art to demonstrate that the invention was not novel, they would be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which is identical to yours in every single way your invention lacks novelty and it is not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is incredibly very easy to overcome, since any slight variation fit, size, mixture of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, however the invention is novel, it might fail the other requirement mentioned previously: “non-obviousness.” So, in the event that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, usually do not celebrate yet — it really is harder to satisfy the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As stated before, the novelty requirement is the easy obstacle to overcome in the pursuit of a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the only real requirement to satisfy, then just about everything conceivable may be patented provided that it differed slightly coming from all previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a more difficult, complex requirement must be satisfied following the novelty question is met. This second requirement is called “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states to some extent that although an invention and the related prior art is probably not “identical” (which means that the invention is novel with regards to the prior art), the invention may nevertheless be unpatentable if the differences between it as well as the related prior art would be considered “obvious” to a person having ordinary skill in the specific invention.
This can be in actuality the Patent and Trademark Office’s method of subjectively judging the “quality” of an invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or otherwise not — it is actually more often than not quite evident whether any differences exist involving the invention and also the prior art.With this point there is not any room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there exists a large amount of room for a number of opinions, since the requirement is inherently subjective: each person, including different Examiners at the Patent Office, could have different opinions regarding whether the invention is really obvious.
Some common examples of things which are not usually considered significant, and so which can be usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to make something lighter in weight; changing the size and style or color; combining pieces of the type commonly found together; substituting one popular 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 kinds of prior art which can be used to keep you from obtaining a patent. In other words, it defines exactly those activities which the PTO can cite against you in an attempt to prove that your invention is not really in reality novel or even to reveal that your invention is obvious. These eight sections can be broken down into a structured and understandable format composed 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 dates back before your “filing date” (thus showing which you may have waited too much time to submit for any patent).
A) Prior art which extends back just before your date of invention: It might seem to make sense that when prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you must not be entitled to have a patent on that invention because you would not truly function as the first inventor. Section 102(a) from the patent law specifically describes those things which bring prior art when they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in america: Any evidence that your particular invention was “known” by others, in the United States, prior to your date of invention. Even when there is no patent or written documentation showing that your invention was known in the usa, the PTO may still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty when they can reveal that your invention was generally proven to people prior to your date of invention.
2) Public use in america: Use by others of the invention you are trying to patent in public in the United States, just before your date of invention, may be held against your patent application by the PTO. This will make clear sense, since if someone else was publicly making use of the invention even before you conceived of this, you obviously should not be the first and first inventor of this, and you do not should get a patent for it.
3) Patented in america or abroad: Any U . S . or foreign patents which issued just before your date of invention and which disclose your invention will likely be used against your patent application from the PTO. As an example, assume that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO are able to use any patents which disclose the same lobster de-shelling tool, United States or foreign, which issued before June 1, 2007 (your date of invention) against your patent application.
4) Published publicly in United States or abroad: Any U . S . or foreignprinted publications (such as books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published just before your date of invention will stop you from getting a patent.Again, the reasoning here is when your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you definitely usually are not the very first inventor (since another person considered it prior to deciding to) and also you are not eligible to patent onto it.
B)Prior art which goes back before your filing date: As noted above, prior art was described as everything known before your conception of the invention or everything known to the public multiple year before your filing of any patent application. What this means is that in many circumstances, even if you were the first one to have conceived/invented something, you will be unable to acquire a patent on it when it has entered the world of public knowledge and over twelve months has gone by between that point as well as your filing of any patent application. The goal of this rule is to persuade folks to try to get patents on their inventions at the earliest opportunity or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) of the patent law defines specifically those kinds of prior art which can be used against you as being a “one-year bar” as follows:
1) Commercial activity in america: If the invention you wish to patent was sold or offered for sale in the usa several year before you decide to file a patent application, then you definitely are “barred” from ever obtaining a patent on your own invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of the invention on January 1, 2008, and provide it for sale on January 3, 2008, in an attempt to raise some funds to apply for a patent. You must file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (twelve months from your day you offered it available for sale).Should you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for example, the PTO will reject the application to be barred as it was offered on the market several year just before your filing date.This too is the case if a person apart from yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still that you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but failed to sell or offer it on the market publicly.You simply kept it to yourself.Also believe that on February 1, 2008, someone else conceived of your own invention and began selling it. This starts your twelve months clock running!If you do not file a patent on your own invention by February 2, 2009, (one year through the date one other person began selling it) then you definitely also will likely be forever barred from acquiring a patent. Note that this provision of the law prevents you from acquiring a patent, despite the fact that there is not any prior art going back to before your date of conception and you also truly are the initial inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), simply because the invention was available to the general public more than 1 year before your filing date because of another person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your chances of getting a patent even if you are the first inventor and have satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in the usa: When the invention you intend to Inventhelp Phone Number was applied in the United States by you or another more than one year before your filing of a patent application, then you definitely are “barred” from ever getting a patent on your own invention. Typical examples of public use are when you or someone else display and make use of the invention in a trade exhibition or public gathering, on tv, or somewhere else where most people has potential access.The public use do not need to be the one that specifically plans to make the public conscious of the invention. Any use which can be potentially accessed by the public will suffice to begin with the main one year clock running (but a secret use will most likely not invoke the main one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in the United States or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or some other printed publication on your part or by another individual, offered to the public in the usa or abroad several year before your filing date, will stop you from getting a patent on your own invention.Remember that even a post published by you, about your own invention, will begin usually the one-year clock running.So, as an example, in the event you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it all out, this could start usually the one-year clock running.So too would usually the one-year clock start running for you personally in case a complete stranger published a printed article about the subject of your invention.
4) Patented in the usa or abroad: If a United States Of America or foreign patent covering your invention issued spanning a year just before your filing date, you will be barred from obtaining a patent. Compare this using the previous section regarding United States Of America and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) of the patent law, you might be prohibited from acquiring a patent when the filing date of another patent is earlier than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which we are discussing here, you can not get yourself a patent on an invention which had been disclosed in another patent issued over a year ago, even if your date of invention was ahead of the filing date of the patent.