Patent Law in Fargo, ND

Fargo residents should be aware that creating a new invention or design is not enough to commercialize it. You must protect your work with a patent. If you don’t, you could open yourself up to the possibility of someone stealing your work. They might even file a patent of their own to claim royalties that should rightfully be yours.

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.

Residents of Fargo can file their patent applications with the Rocky Mountain Regional Office of the USPTO. They can also take full advantage of the Chester Fritz Library in Grand Forks.  This serves as a resource center for those seeking to file their patent applications.

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

Fargo, ND 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 Fargo ND

The process of applying for a patent in Fargo, North Dakota 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.

North Dakota State University provides an overview and factsheet pertaining to patent applications in the state. Remember that the application process is a process, and can move much slower than you would like. You’ll need to do a tremendous amount of research to be certain that your invention or design qualifies for a patent, and to be certain that a current patent does not already exist.

The North Dakota Supreme Court Law Library could be a valuable tool when conducting your patent research. Fargo residents may also wish to search through the Library Catalog provided by the city of Fargo. However, you may want the expertise of an experienced patent lawyer in Fargo to prevent mistakes or missteps. Any problems with the filing process could set back the timeline of your receiving your patent.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Fargo, North Dakota Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Fargo 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 Monsanto Corporation is famous for nefarious business practices. They are a massive conglomerate, and are used to getting what they want. However, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy reports that they were recently forced to settle a patent suit against a farmer in North Dakota. The suit was settled under a confidentiality agreement. However, a new law was created due to the suit; the law states that farmers are permitted to accompany the State Seed Department as they collect field samples for evidence or inspection.

It was due to the expertise of experienced patent lawyers that a corporation like Monsanto did not destroy the farm and farmers they brought the patent suit against. A Fargo patent attorney can offer you the same expertise if you need protection from infringement, or a nefarious lawsuit. In addition, your patent attorney will be able to pursue damages, as well as attorney fees and court costs.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Fargo, North Dakota

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