Patent Law in Erie, PA

According to The Patriot-News, Pennsylvanians have contributed innovations since the earliest days of U.S. history. The polio vaccine, movie theaters, and bifocals are only a few of these life-changing inventions.

Do you believe that you have an invention that could shine among these famous innovations? Earning a patent can be a complicated, expensive, and time-consuming process. So, find out what a patent attorney from Erie can do to help you avoid costly mistakes in this article today.

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.

An excellent state resource to conduct the research necessary to obtain a patent is the Pittsburgh PTRC. Inventors in Erie can also seek out what the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria has to offer.

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

Erie, PA 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 Erie PA

The process of applying for a patent in Erie, Pennsylvania 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.

Online publications like Investopedia stress the importance of researching patents before applying. The primary purpose of this work is to ensure that you have a patentable invention. Anything that’s too similar or makes your concept less unique may lead to a rejection of your application. Moreover, judging your odds of success can be hazardous without the experience of a patent attorney.

In total, an inventor from Erie will need to go through these five phases identified by the USPTO:

  • Gathering information about existing patents
  • Putting together a strategy
  • Submitting your completed application
  • Participating in the examination process
  • Paying maintenance fees promptly

When Should I Hire a Qualified Erie, Pennsylvania Patent Lawyer?

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

As reported by HowStuffWorks, a patent attorney can help a company with much more than the application. A qualified legal expert in Erie can also design your licensing agreements and contracts.

Creating a binding agreement that protects your bottom line couldn’t be more critical. However, you may also need to protect your intellectual property from infringement. From cease and desist letters to civil trials, this effort requires having an attorney.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania

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