Patent Law in Boston, MA

Does the thought of trying to patent your idea make you feel dizzy?

As recognized by HowStuffWorks, legal articles can be difficult to secure. Numerous challenges can take an experienced hand to get through unscathed. However, inventors from Boston who can keep a level-headed view can make history. Find out how to get started by reading this article and identifying the value a local patent attorney can bring to this endeavor.

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 off of something for which you have a patent.

Since this process requires research, state resources are available to local inventors. An excellent example is the Patent and Trademark Resource Center at the Boston Public Library.

What Are the Types of Patents?

There are three different types of patents inventors can apply for. Each patent has 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

Boston, MA inventors often file a provisional patent first, which is like 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 exactly 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 Boston MA

The process of applying for a patent in Boston, Massachusetts 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.

Overall, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that obtaining a patent will take around 30 months. It can even take up to 13 to 18 months before the USPTO responds. When your turn comes, it can pay to have a patent lawyer on your side to help avoid missteps or the need to reapply.

The phases that legal counsel can help a Boston inventor navigate include:

  • Research
  • Patent application prep work
  • Filing and the payment of fees
  • Examination
  • Maintenance until the term expires

When Should I Hire a Qualified Boston, Massachusetts Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Boston patent law lawyers can help you. He or she 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.

At times, you may approach an attorney because someone has infringed on your intellectual property. When this happens, a Boston resident has the right to pursue legal action. While the process may start with a letter from your lawyer, you could wind up in court before the end.

In most cases, a successful lawsuit will result in payment for damages and attorney fees. Additionally, you should have an injunction against the defendant to prevent them from continuing operations.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Boston, Massachusetts

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