Patent Law in Charleston, WV

No one likes to envision worst case scenarios, but the truth is that the world is full of bad actors. There is no shortage of those who would abuse your rights for their own monetary gain and notoriety. To protect yourself, and your property, you should consider seeking the expertise of a patent attorney in Charleston WV.

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.

The USPTO states that there were 332 patents filed by inventors in Kanawha County between 2000 and 2015. Charleston inventors wishing to file a patent will most likely file with the USPTO branch office in Morgantown. Inventors can take advantage of the economic workshops that are provided by these offices. They can use the knowledge and connections available in their attempt to raise capital to bring their invention to market.

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

Charleston, WV 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 Charleston WV

The process of applying for a patent in Charleston, West Virginia 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 West Virginia Secretary of State provides online patent forms and applications for inventors in Charleston. However, it is critical that all patent materials be filed correctly, and promptly. For this reason you may wish to retain the services of an experienced patent attorney in Charleston. Especially if time is a factor with bringing your invention or design to market.

The State Law Library located on Kanawha Boulevard allows you to use its resources to research the type of patent needed, and to see if this invention already exists. In addition, you must correctly determine if your invention requires a patent. There are currently over 9 million patents that exist in the U.S. Be certain to be thorough in your research before you file.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Charleston, West Virginia Patent Lawyer?

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

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that in 2017, the West Virginia Supreme Court sided with Charleston based Impression Products in a patent infringement suit with Lexmark. Impression was refilling empty Lexmark toner cartridges and reselling them. Lexmark sued for patent infringement, but the West Virginia Court agreed with Impression that there was no infringement due to the First Sale Doctrine.

If you believe an individual or correlation has infringed upon your patent rights, you must take action. An experienced patent attorney in Charleston can help you defend your intellectual property. In addition, you may be entitled to monetary damage, as well as attorneys fees and court costs.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Charleston, West Virginia

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