Patent Law in Alaska

An entrepreneurial spirit is essential in creating new inventions and designs. However, this may cause one to act alone when filing a patent for intellectual property. While you can do this, patent law is extremely nuanced and it can be easy to go astray if you don’t know the terrain. This is why it may be beneficial to seek out an experienced patent attorney in Alaska.

What Is a Patent?

Patent law covers the many aspects of securing a patent. There are many legalities to understand, from copyrighting products and advertising, to the Lanham Act. Basically, a patent is a legal protection you secure through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, (USPTO), under intellectual property laws. A patent guarantees the exclusive right to use your intellectual property. It also helps enforce that no other person can make or profit from something for which you hold the patent.

Alaska residents wishing to file a patent or trademark intellectual property, will have to do so in Fairbanks. This is the Alaska location of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, the University of Alaska Fairbanks provides some online resources for inventors and entrepreneurs that are looking to protect their property and establish new revenue streams.

What Are the Types of Patents?

There are three different types of patents inventors can apply for. Each patent has specific stipulations and serves a different purpose.

  • Utility Patent – This is the most common type of patent. It is for new machines, processes/functions, and chemicals.
  • Design Patent – These patents are for securing a unique and new design of a manufactured item. Design patents protect from entities trying to capitalize on an invention by replicating and producing it.
  • Plant Patent – These types of patents are specifically for the invention of new plant varieties. The process must include asexual reproduction, meaning by means other than seeds.

What Can You Patent?

In reality, not everything you create qualifies for patenting. There are only certain types of intellectual property that fall under patent protection. Other intellectual property rights cover different creations. Here is a look at the types of inventions you can patent:

  • Process – Also referred to as a method, this is a new way of doing something. 
  • Machine – This is any material thing or device that has some sort of output, whether functionality or physical object.
  • Manufacture – This is the creation of a physical object.
  • Composition of matter – This is a mixture of chemical or biological compounds to create something new.

You can apply for a patent for whichever new device, method, or compound you create by applying to the USPTO. Once they accept your patent application and approve it, you have exclusivity rights to the invention for the next 20 years. However, a design patent period lasts for 14 years.

Difference Between a Provisional and Non-Provisional Patent

Alaska inventors often file a provisional patent first, which is a way of buying time to finalize an invention. Provisional patents last for a year, and the application process is simple. Once you file a provisional patent, you have a year to convert it to a non-provisional patent. The latter is just another name for the formal and final patent.

How to Apply for a Patent in Alaska

The process of applying for a patent in Alaska is complex and detailed. You must meet all the requirements and submit every required piece of documentation to secure your patent. You must file your application with the USPTO.

The Alaska Department of Commerce advises residents of Alaska to carefully review the processes set forth by the state before applying for a patent or trademark. You should be certain that your invention is new and does not hold an existing patent. You should review costs, and be certain that your invention meets the prerequisites for establishing a patent. These are all things that you should discuss with an experienced patent attorney in Alaska.

According to GlobeNewsWire, a newly patented invention could change the landscape of daily life in Alaska. This new invention allows people living in colder climates to create a seal around windows to fix them, even in cold weather. The seal not only provides protection, but also insulation that keeps in heat and rebuffs wind.

When Should I Hire an Experienced Alaska Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then  Alaska patent law lawyers can help you. They can assist with every step of the filing process and ensure that you include all the required information. Additionally, they may be able to guide you when it comes to navigating consumer laws, as well as help you avoid false advertising. This can prove especially valuable if you are trying to merge, or transform your invention into a business.

The Alaska State Bar makes a pronounced distinction between a patent attorney and a patent agent. While a patent agent may be versed in filing for patents, he or she has no right to give legal advice, nor are they able to defend you if someone encroaches on your intellectual property. It is always in your best interest to have a skilled patent attorney by your side when facing these matters.

If you encounter bad actors attempting to take something you’ve created, this can feel overwhelming and even defeating. However, rest assured if you take your case to court and win, you  may be entitled to more than just your creation. You can be awarded court fees, attorney fees, and even monetary damages. You should never allow bad faith actors to steal your intellectual property.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Alaska

A patent lawyer provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with an attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Alaska state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!

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