Patent Law in Des Moines, IA

If you are ready to bring your design or invention to the world, you must remember that it is up to you to legally protect your work. Des Moines inventors that do not receive the full protection of a patent from the U.S. government run the risk of having their work stolen by bad faith actors. To protect your work, you should consider seeking the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in Des Moines.

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 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allows Des Moines inventors and entrepreneurs the legal avenues to protect their intellectual property and investments. Receiving a patent to protect your work is what gives you the ability to uphold your patent rights if they are infringed upon. The Iowa Secretary of State also provides online applications for trademarks in the state.

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

Des Moines, 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 Des Moines IA

The process of applying for a patent in Des Moines, 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.

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry stresses the importance of protecting your intellectual property with a patent or trademark. To apply, you must first research and determine if your property qualifies for patent protection. Then you’ll need to be certain what type of patent you are applying for, and be certain that this patent does not already exist.

Research facilities at both the University of Iowa and Iowa State University are incredibly beneficial to those seeking to file a patent application. However, you can also hire an experienced Des Moines patent attorney to help with this research. As patent law is a very particular field of expertise, a patent attorney can help you avoid any pitfalls you may encounter in the filing process.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Des Moines, 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 Des Moines 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 Des Moines Register reports that a local business, Underground Magnetics, has been accused of being a front for a Chinese company. This Chinese company has been using the local Des Moines company as a front for the sole purpose of stealing patent and trademark secrets. Underground Magnetics is also being sued for unfair competition, and false advertising.

While not all bad faith actors are guilty of spying for foreign governments, many are guilty of infringing upon your rights. This infringement could be purposeful or accidental, but the damage done is still the same. To stop patent infringement you should seek the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in Des Moines. He or she can help you file to get the relief to which you are entitled.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Des Moines, Iowa

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