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 very 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 great example is the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some in the past into the many regional phone companies. The federal 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 over the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the us government permit a monopoly in the form of Inventhelp Wiki? The federal government makes an exception to encourage inventors in the future forward using their creations. By doing this, the federal government actually promotes advancements in technology and science.
First of all, it ought to be clear for you just how a patent behaves as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the owner in the patent to prevent anyone else from producing the item or utilizing the process protected by the patent. Think of Thomas Edison and his awesome most popular patented invention, the lighting bulb. Along with his patent for your light, Thomas Edison could prevent every other person or company from producing, using or selling bulbs without his permission. Essentially, nobody could contend with him within the bulb business, and hence he possessed a monopoly.
However, so that you can receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison had to give something in turn. He required to fully “disclose” his invention to the public.
To have a United States Patent, an inventor must fully disclose exactly what the invention is, how it operates, and the easiest way known through the inventor making it.It is this disclosure for the public which entitles the inventor to a monopoly.The logic for carrying this out is that by promising inventors a monopoly in exchange for their disclosures for the public, inventors will continually strive to develop new technologies and disclose these to people. Providing all of them with the monopoly allows them to profit financially from the invention. Without it “tradeoff,” there will be few incentives to produce new technologies, because without having a patent monopoly an inventor’s hard work will bring him no financial reward.Fearing that the invention would be stolen whenever they make an effort to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul regarding 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 20 years after they are filed.If the was not the case, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there will be serious consequences. For instance, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for the light, we may probably have to pay about $300 to purchase a light bulb today.Without competition, there will be little incentive for Edison to boost upon his light bulb.Instead, once the Edison light patent expired, everyone was liberated to manufacture light bulbs, and many companies did.The vigorous competition to do just that after expiration in the Edison patent ended in higher quality, lower costing lights.
Kinds of patents. There are essentially three varieties of patents which you should be aware of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent applies to inventions which may have a “functional” aspect (quite simply, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it really “does” something).In other words, the thing that is different or “special” regarding the invention has to be for a functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention must also fall within one or more from the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Keep in mind that virtually any physical, functional invention will fall under at least one of those categories, so that you need not be worried about which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: consider a “machine” as something which accomplishes an activity as a result of interaction of its physical parts, such as a can opener, a car engine, a fax machine, etc.It will be the combination and interconnection of these physical parts with which we have been concerned and which can be protected from the Inventhelp Pittsburgh.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” needs to be looked at as things which accomplish a job like a machine, but without the 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 more simplistic things which typically have no moving parts. A paper clip, as an example is definitely an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a job (holding papers together), but is clearly not just a “machine” as it is a simple device which will not rely on the interaction of various parts.
C) Process: a way of accomplishing something through several steps, each step interacting in some manner using a physical element, is regarded as a “process.” A process can be a new method of manufacturing a known product or can even 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 so on could be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes are frequently protected in this manner.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of your object, rather than its “utility” or function, that is protected by way of a utility patent. Quite simply, if the invention is really a useful object which has a novel shape or overall look, a design patent might give you the appropriate protection. To prevent infringement, a copier will have to produce a version that does not look “substantially similar to the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the form and overall look without infringing the style patent.
A provisional patent application is a step toward obtaining a utility patent, in which the invention may not yet be ready to get yourself a utility patent. In other words, if this seems as though the invention cannot yet get a utility patent, the provisional application may be filed inside the Patent Office to establish the inventor’s priority for the invention.As the inventor will continue to develop the invention making further developments which permit a utility patent to get obtained, then the inventor can “convert” the provisional application to your full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for the date if the provisional application was initially filed.
A provisional patent has several benefits:
A) Patent Pending Status: The most popular advantage of a Provisional Patent Application is that it allows the inventor to right away begin marking the merchandise “patent pending.” This has a period-proven tremendous commercial value, similar to the “as seen on TV” label that is put on many products. A product bearing both of these phrases clearly possesses an industrial marketing advantage right from the start.
B) Capability to increase the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has one year to “convert” the provisional right into a “full blown” utility application.In that year, the inventor need to try to commercialize the product and assess its potential. When the product appears commercially viable during that year, then the inventor is motivated to convert the provisional application right into a utility application.However, unlike a normal utility application which can not be changed in any respect, a provisional application may have additional material put into it to improve it upon its conversion within 1 year.Accordingly, any helpful tips or tips that had been obtained through the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization of the product can be implemented and guarded during that time.
C) Establishment of any filing date: The provisional patent application also provides the inventor with a crucial “filing date.” Put simply, the date that the provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for acquiring a utility patent. Once you are sure that your invention is really a potential candidate to get a utility patent (since it fits within one of the statutory classes), you need to 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 when so, whether you will find a substantial distinction between it and other products inside the related field.
A) Novelty: To obtain a utility patent, you need to initially see whether your invention is “novel”. In other words, can be your invention new?Are you the first person to possess looked at it? For instance, if you were to make application for a patent on the light, it seems like quite clear which you would not be entitled to a patent, since the light bulb is not a new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving the application, would reject it dependant on the reality that Edison invented the lighting bulb many years ago. In rejecting your patent application, the Patent Office would actually cite the Edison light bulb 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 several year before you decide to file a patent application for the invention).
For the invention to become novel with respect to other inventions on earth (prior art), it must simply be different in some minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel spanning a similar invention.Should you invent a square light bulb, your invention would actually be novel when compared to Edison light bulb (since his was round/elliptical). If the patent office would cite the round Edison bulb against your square one as prior art to exhibit that your particular invention had not been novel, they would be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention which can be identical to yours in each and every way your invention lacks novelty and it is not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is very very easy to overcome, since any slight variation in good shape, size, combination of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, even though the invention is novel, it may fail the other requirement stated earlier: “non-obviousness.” So, in the event that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, do not celebrate yet — it really is more difficult to meet the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As stated before, the novelty requirement is definitely the easy obstacle to overcome within the search for a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the only real requirement in order to satisfy, then almost anything conceivable could be patented as long as it differed slightly coming from all previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a more difficult, complex requirement must be satisfied right after the novelty question is met. This second requirement is known as “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states to some extent 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 when the differences between it as well as the related prior art would be considered “obvious” to a person having ordinary skill in the field of the particular invention.
This really is in fact the Patent and Trademark Office’s way of subjectively judging the “quality” of your invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or not — it is actually typically quite evident whether any differences exist involving the invention and also the prior art.About this point there is not any room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there is certainly 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, will have different opinions regarding whether the invention is definitely obvious.
Some common types of things which are not usually considered significant, and so which can be usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to create something lighter in weight; changing the size or color; combining items of the type commonly found together; substituting one well-known component for an additional similar component, etc.
IV. What is considered prior art from 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 obtaining a patent. In other words, it defines exactly those things that the PTO can cite against you so as to prove that your particular invention is not in reality novel or to show that your invention is obvious. These eight sections may be broken down into an organized and understandable format composed of two main categories: prior art which can be dated before your date of “invention” (thus showing that you are not the initial inventor); and prior art which extends back prior to your “filing date” (thus showing which you might have waited too long to file for any patent).
A) Prior art which goes back before your date of invention: It might appear to sound right that if prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you must not be entitled to acquire a patent on that invention since you would not truly function as the first inventor. Section 102(a) from the patent law specifically describes those things which can be used prior art if they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in the United States: Any evidence that the invention was “known” by others, in the United States, prior to your date of invention. Even if there is no patent or written documentation showing that the invention was known in america, the PTO can still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty if they can reveal that your invention was generally proven to people just before your date of invention.
2) Public use in the United States: Use by others in the invention you are trying to patent in public places in america, prior to your date of invention, could be held against your patent application by the PTO. This should make clear sense, since if a person else was publicly making use of the invention even before you conceived of this, you obviously should not be the original and first inventor of this, and you do not deserve to obtain a patent for this.
3) Patented in america or abroad: Any United States or foreign patents which issued just before your date of invention and which disclose your invention will 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 can use any patents which disclose an identical 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 Of America 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 prevent you from getting a patent.Again, the reasoning here is that if your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you definitely usually are not the first inventor (since someone else considered it prior to deciding to) and you are certainly not eligible to patent into it.
B)Prior art which dates back prior to your filing date: As noted above, prior art was described as everything known just before your conception in the invention or everything proven to the general public multiple year before your filing of a patent application. This means that in many circumstances, even when you were the first one to have conceived/invented something, you will be unable to get a patent onto it if it has entered the world of public knowledge and over twelve months has gone by between that time as well as your filing of a patent application. The purpose of this rule is always to encourage people to apply for patents on their own inventions as soon as possible or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) of the patent law defines specifically those varieties of prior art which may be used against you as being a “one-year bar” the following:
1) Commercial activity in the United States: When the invention you wish to patent was sold or offered for sale in the usa several year before you file a patent application, then you are “barred” from ever getting a patent on your own invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of your invention on January 1, 2008, and offer it on the market on January 3, 2008, in an attempt to raise some funds to try to get a patent. You need to file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (one year from your day you offered it on the market).In the event you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for instance, the PTO will reject the application to be barred as it was offered for sale several year just before your filing date.This also would be the case if a person apart from yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still that you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but did not sell or offer it on the market publicly.You simply kept it to yourself.Also think that on February 1, 2008, somebody else conceived of your own invention and began selling it. This starts your twelve months clock running!Should you not file a patent on your invention by February 2, 2009, (one year from the date one other person began selling it) then you also is going to be forever barred from getting a patent. Note that this provision of the law prevents you against obtaining a patent, despite the fact that there is no prior art dating back to before your date of conception and you also are indeed the initial inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), simply because the invention was accessible to people more than twelve months before your filing date as a result of one other person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your odds of obtaining a patent even when you are the first inventor and also have satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in the United States: If the invention you want to Inventhelp Success was used in the United States on your part or any other multiple year before your filing of a patent application, then you definitely are “barred” from ever acquiring a patent on your own invention. Typical examples of public use are whenever you or somebody else display and make use of the invention with a trade exhibition or public gathering, on television, or anywhere else where the general public has potential access.The public use will not need to be one which specifically intends to create the public mindful of the invention. Any use which is often potentially accessed through 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 the usa or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or other printed publication on your part or by another person, available to people in america or abroad more than one year before your filing date, will stop you from acquiring a patent on your own invention.Note that even a post authored by you, concerning your own invention, will start the one-year clock running.So, as an example, in the event you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it out, this might start the main one-year clock running.So too would the one-year clock start running for you in case a complete stranger published a printed article about the subject of your invention.
4) Patented in the United States or abroad: When a United States or foreign patent covering your invention issued over a year prior to your filing date, you may be barred from obtaining a patent. Compare this with the previous section regarding United States and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) in the patent law, you happen to be prohibited from obtaining a patent in the event the filing date of another patent is earlier than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which we have been discussing here, you are unable to get yourself a patent on an invention that was disclosed in another patent issued over a year ago, even when your date of invention was prior to the filing date of the patent.