What is a patent? A United States Of America 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 certain concept for a short 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. An excellent example will be the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some years back into the many regional phone companies. The us 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 government permit a monopoly by means of Review For Inventhelp? The us government makes an exception to encourage inventors ahead forward using their creations. In doing so, the government actually promotes advancements in technology and science.
First of all, it needs to be clear to you personally exactly how a patent works as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the owner from the patent to avoid anyone else from producing the product or utilizing the process included in the patent. Think about Thomas Edison and his most famous patented invention, the lighting bulb. Along with his patent for your bulb, Thomas Edison could prevent some other person or company from producing, using or selling bulbs without his permission. Essentially, nobody could compete with him inside the light business, so therefore he possessed a monopoly.
However, to be able to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison needed to give something in exchange. He necessary to fully “disclose” his invention to the public.
To acquire a U . S . Patent, an inventor must fully disclose what the invention is, the actual way it operates, and the easiest way known from the inventor to make it.It really is this disclosure for the public which entitles the inventor to a monopoly.The logic for carrying this out is the fact that by promising inventors a monopoly in turn for their disclosures for the public, inventors will continually make an effort to develop new technologies and disclose these to the public. Providing these with the monopoly allows them to profit financially from your invention. Without it “tradeoff,” there could be few incentives to build up technologies, because without having a patent monopoly an inventor’s work would bring him no financial reward.Fearing that their invention would be stolen once they make an effort to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul regarding their invention, as well as the public would not benefit.
The grant of rights within patent will last for a limited period.Utility patents expire twenty years when they are filed.If this was not the case, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there could be serious consequences. For example, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for the light bulb, we would probably must pay about $300 to buy an easy bulb today.Without competition, there could be little incentive for Edison to enhance upon his light.Instead, after the Edison light bulb patent expired, everybody was free to manufacture lights, and lots of companies did.The vigorous competition to accomplish just that after expiration from the Edison patent led to higher quality, lower costing light bulbs.
Types of patents. You will find 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 that have a “functional” aspect (in other words, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it really “does” something).In other words, the one thing which can be different or “special” concerning the invention should be for any functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention should also fall within at least 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 these categories, so you need not be worried about which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: think of a “machine” as a thing that accomplishes a task as a result of interaction of the physical parts, such as a can opener, an automobile engine, a fax machine, etc.This is the combination and interconnection of those physical parts that we are concerned and which can be protected by the Inventhelp Inventions Store.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” ought to be thought of as items that accomplish a job like a machine, but without the interaction of numerous physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may seem to be similar in many instances, you are able to distinguish both by thinking of articles of manufacture as increasing numbers of simplistic items that normally have no moving parts. A paper clip, as an example is an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a task (holding papers together), but is clearly not a “machine” as it is an easy device which fails to rely on the interaction of varied parts.
C) Process: an easy method of doing something through one or more steps, each step interacting in some way using a physical element, is regarded as a “process.” A process can be quite a new approach to manufacturing a known product or could even be a brand new use to get a known product. Board games are typically protected being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions such as pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds like soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and so forth could be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes are often protected in this fashion.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of an object, as opposed to its “utility” or function, that is protected by 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 provide the appropriate protection. In order to avoid infringement, a copier will have to create a version that does not look “substantially just like the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the design and overall appearance without infringing the design patent.
A provisional patent application is a step toward obtaining a utility patent, in which the invention might not exactly yet anticipate to get a utility patent. In other words, if this seems as though the invention cannot yet obtain a utility patent, the provisional application might be filed in the Patent Office to establish the inventor’s priority for the invention.As the inventor will continue to develop the invention to make further developments which permit a utility patent to be obtained, then the inventor can “convert” the provisional application to a full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for the date once the provisional application was first filed.
A provisional patent has several positive aspects:
A) Patent Pending Status: The most well-known benefit from a Provisional Patent Application is that it allows the inventor to right away begin marking the merchandise “patent pending.” It has an occasion-proven tremendous commercial value, like the “as seen on TV” label which can be applied to many products. An item bearing both these phrases clearly possesses a commercial marketing advantage from the very beginning.
B) Ability to enhance the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has twelve months to “convert” the provisional in to a “full blown” utility application.In that year, the inventor should try to commercialize the merchandise and assess its potential. If the product appears commercially viable during that year, then this inventor is motivated to convert the provisional application right into a utility application.However, unlike an ordinary utility application which should not be changed in any way, a provisional application might have additional material put into it to improve it upon its conversion within twelve months.Accordingly, any helpful information or tips that had been obtained from the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization of the product can be implemented and guarded during that time.
C) Establishment of a filing date: The provisional patent application also provides the inventor using a crucial “filing date.” Quite simply, the date that this provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, even for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for acquiring a utility patent. When you are sure that your invention is really a potential candidate to get a utility patent (as it fits within one of many statutory classes), you need to then move ahead to assess whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” These two requirements are essentially worried about whether your invention is new, and when so, whether there is a substantial difference between it and similar products in the related field.
A) Novelty: To obtain a utility patent, you need to initially determine whether your invention is “novel”. Quite simply, is the invention new?Are you the first person to get considered it? For instance, if you were to apply for a patent on the bulb, it seems quite clear that you simply would not be eligible for a patent, because the light bulb is not a brand new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving the application, would reject it dependant on the truth 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” just before your conception from the invention or everything recognized to people multiple year prior to deciding to file a patent application for the invention).
For your invention to become novel with regards to other inventions on the planet (prior art), it should just be different in some minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel over a similar invention.If you were to invent a square light, your invention would really be novel compared to the Edison light (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 show that your invention had not been novel, they could be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention that is identical to yours in every way your invention lacks novelty and is also not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is extremely 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 could fail the other requirement mentioned previously: “non-obviousness.” So, if you find that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, usually do not celebrate yet — it is harder to satisfy the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As stated before, the novelty requirement is the easy obstacle to beat in the quest for a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the only real requirement to satisfy, then almost anything conceivable could be patented so long as it differed slightly from all previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a more difficult, complex requirement must be satisfied after the novelty real question is met. This second requirement is referred to as “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states in part that although an invention and the related prior art is probably not “identical” (which means the invention is novel with respect to the prior art), the invention may nevertheless be unpatentable in the event the differences between it and the related prior art would be considered “obvious” to someone having ordinary skill in the particular invention.
This is in actuality the Patent and Trademark Office’s way of subjectively judging the “quality” of the invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or otherwise — it is almost always quite evident whether any differences exist involving the invention as well as the prior art.About this point there is not any room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there is certainly a substantial amount of room for many different opinions, since the requirement is inherently subjective: differing people, including different Examiners on the Patent Office, may have different opinions regarding whether the invention is really obvious.
Some common samples of things that are not usually considered significant, and therefore which can be usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to help make something much lighter; changing the size and style or color; combining pieces of what type commonly found together; substituting one well-known component for another similar component, etc.
IV. Precisely what is considered prior art by the Patent Office?
The patent laws, specifically 35 U.S.C. section 102, outline eight major varieties of prior art which may be used to stop you from acquiring a patent. Quite simply, it defines exactly those ideas which the PTO can cite against you in an effort to prove that your particular invention will not be in reality novel or to show that your invention is obvious. These eight sections could be split up into a structured and understandable format comprising two main categories: prior art which is dated before your date of “invention” (thus showing that you are currently not the initial inventor); and prior art which extends back before your “filing date” (thus showing which you may have waited very long to submit for any patent).
A) Prior art which goes back before your date of invention: It could appear to sound right 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 function as the first inventor. Section 102(a) of the patent law specifically describes the things which can be used as prior art should they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in the usa: Any evidence that your particular invention was “known” by others, in the United States, just before your date of invention. Even if you have no patent or written documentation showing that the invention was known in the United States, the PTO may still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty when they can show that your invention was generally known to people just before your date of invention.
2) Public use in the United States: Use by others from the invention you are attempting to patent in public areas in the United States, just before your date of invention, can be held against your patent application through the PTO. This ought to make clear sense, since if a person else was publicly making use of the invention even before you conceived from it, you obviously can not be the initial and first inventor of this, and you may not should get a patent because of it.
3) Patented in america 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 from the PTO. For instance, think that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO may use any patents which disclose the same 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 or abroad: Any United States Of America or foreignprinted publications (such as books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published before your date of invention will stop 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 certainly not the initial inventor (since somebody else looked at it before you) and you usually are not eligible to patent into it.
B)Prior art which goes back before your filing date: As noted above, prior art was defined as everything known prior to your conception in the invention or everything recognized to the public more than one year before your filing of any patent application. Therefore that in numerous circumstances, even when you were the first one to have conceived/invented something, you will end up unable to acquire a patent onto it when it has entered the realm of public knowledge and over 1 year has gone by between that time as well as your filing of the patent application. The purpose of this rule would be to persuade folks to apply for patents on the inventions as quickly as possible or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) of the patent law defines specifically those types of prior art which can be used against you as a “one-year bar” as follows:
1) Commercial activity in the United States: When the invention you intend to patent was sold or offered for sale in america several year prior to deciding to file a patent application, then you certainly are “barred” from ever obtaining a patent on your own invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of your own invention on January 1, 2008, and provide 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 (twelve months from the day you offered it on the market).If you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for instance, the PTO will reject your application for being barred as it was offered for sale several year just before your filing date.This too will be the case if someone besides yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still which you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but failed to sell or offer it available for sale publicly.You simply kept it to yourself.Also assume that on February 1, 2008, someone else conceived of the invention and began selling it. This starts your one year clock running!If you do not file a patent on the invention by February 2, 2009, (twelve months from your date one other person began selling it) then you certainly also will be forever barred from obtaining a patent. Be aware that this provision of the law prevents from acquiring a patent, despite the fact that there is no prior art going 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 the general public for over 1 year before your filing date because of one other person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your chances of obtaining a patent even though you are the first inventor and possess satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in the United States: When the invention you intend to Ideas Inventions was applied in the United States on your part or some other more than one year before your filing of any patent application, then you definitely are “barred” from ever getting a patent on the invention. Typical types of public use are when you or another person display and utilize the invention in a trade show or public gathering, on tv, or elsewhere where most people has potential access.The general public use will not need to be one which specifically intends to have the public conscious of the invention. Any use which is often potentially accessed through the public will suffice to begin with usually the one year clock running (but a secret use will most likely not invoke the one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in america or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or some other printed publication by you or by another person, offered to the general public in the usa or abroad several year before your filing date, will prevent you from getting a patent on the invention.Note that even a post authored by you, regarding your own invention, will begin usually the one-year clock running.So, for instance, if you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it out, this would start the one-year clock running.So too would the main one-year clock start running to suit your needs when a complete stranger published a printed article about the subject of your invention.
4) Patented in america or abroad: In case a United States Of America or foreign patent covering your invention issued spanning a year before your filing date, you will end up barred from getting a patent. Compare this with the previous section regarding United States Of America and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) from the patent law, you happen to be prohibited from obtaining a patent in the event the filing date of some other patent is earlier than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which our company is discussing here, you can not get yourself a patent with an invention which was disclosed in another patent issued over a year ago, even when your date of invention was prior to the filing date of that patent.