Patent Law in Cedar Rapids, IA

Inventors in Cedar Rapids are responsible for protecting their work. It’s important to remember that everyone may not be as honest as you. Bad faith actors can infringe upon your patent rights, either intentionally or unintentionally. For this reason, you may want to seek the counsel of an experienced Cedar Rapids patent attorney when filing your patent application.

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.

Cedar Rapids inventors have to file an application for a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Receiving this patent is what allows you to fully exercise your rights when it comes to an invention or design. The office also offers networking opportunities with entrepreneurs and other inventors in the state. These events allow you to expand your reach for your intellectual property.

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

Cedar Rapids, IA 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 Cedar Rapids IA

The process of applying for a patent in Cedar Rapids, Iowa 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.

An abandoned Cedar Rapids Patent shows how important it is to get the filing process correct. Several Cedar Rapids inventors came together to patent a handheld data collection terminal in 1991. The terminal featured a rechargeable battery, as well as battery conservation systems. However, the patent never came through because the applicants failed to pay the issue fee. It was eventually patented by someone else.

The Iowa State Legislature provides a list of libraries and resources you can use when you are filing a patent. You must determine what type of patent you are filing, and determine whether or not a patent already exists for this type of invention or design. Remember, there are over 9 million patents that currently exist in the U.S.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Cedar Rapids, Iowa Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Cedar Rapids 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.

A case before the U.S. Courts resulted in Oklahoma-based CMI Corp having to pay $1.9 million to Cedar Rapids Inc. for patent infringement. The complaint revolved around a patented process for recycling paving materials associated with the paving of asphalt. The plaintiffs received monetary damages and an immediate relief from CMI Corp for using their patented technology.

An experienced patent attorney in Cedar Rapids may be your best course of action when protecting your intellectual property. There are plenty of individuals, and corporations, who have no reservations about infringing upon your patent rights. But your patent attorney can enforce your rights, and pursue any damages you may have incurred from the infringement.

Work With an Experienced Local Patent Attorney In Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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

We can even help you connect with an attorney across Iowa state lines.

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