Patent Law in Fayetteville, NC

We don’t often like to think in these terms, but bad faith actors exist. There are individuals or entities that seek to take advantage of the unlearned or uninitiated so they can profit from their work. For this reason if you are an inventor in the Fayetteville area, it may be in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced Fayetteville patent attorney.

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.

Designers and inventors that reside in Fayetteville should take every step to protect their intellectual property. The best way to do this is to file a patent application with the USPTO. Because of the proximity of the nearest regional office, you’ll probably want to file with the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Receiving a patent is the surest way to prevent your property from being used or misused against your will.

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

Fayetteville, NC 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 Fayetteville NC

The process of applying for a patent in Fayetteville, North Carolina 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 University of North Carolina, along with the North Carolina Small Business Administration, provides a complete breakdown of the patent filing process. You should determine if your invention is eligible for patent protection, and determine which type of patent you’ll need. There are 3 types of patents; utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. Plant patents are granted to inventors that have discovered, or asexually reproduced, a new type or species of plant. However, this protection does not extend to tuber propagated plants, or plants found in an uncultivated state.

The Fayetteville Court Library, and the Cumberland County Law Library are excellent resources you can use to conduct your research. You must also be diligent in your research, and be certain that there is not already an existing patent for your invention.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Fayetteville, North Carolina Patent Lawyer?

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

Fayetteville State University lists a complete breakdown of patents and inventions that have increased the visibility and credibility of the institution. These inventions may very well change the direction of the world. One of their patents involves a way to turn body heat into electricity through a type of thermoelectric capture. They also hold a patent on similar technology that is a hand-held size. This piece would fit over your cell phone, and allow you to charge it while holding it.

If you are serious about protecting your property and inventions, you may want to seek out an experienced patent attorney in Fayetteville. He or she can help you through the filing process, as well as defend and uphold your rights should anyone infringe upon them.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Fayetteville, North Carolina

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