Patent Law in Flint, MI

MyCity Magazine highlights Lloyd Copeman, an inventor from Flint.  Often referred to as the “forgotten inventor”, Copeman helped pioneer breakthroughs, and invented such items as rubber ice cube trays, the electric stove, and the electric toaster. If you have aspirations of bringing your inventions to the world, you may want to hire an experienced patent attorney in Flint to help you safeguard your work.

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.

Flint residents can file their petitions to receive a patent with the Midwest Regional USPTO, located in Detroit. This office was named in the America Invents Act, and was established to increase outreach for patent applicants. If you are seeking to protect your intellectual property through patents and trademarks, this is where you should file. You can also take advantage of the Inventor’s Eye, which is a newsletter produced by the USPTO specifically for inventors.

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

Flint, MI 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 Flint MI

The process of applying for a patent in Flint, Michigan 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.

Promptly and correctly filing your patent is instrumental in retaining the full rights and creative control of your creation. lists the steps to correctly filing your patent. Ideally, you should:

  • Research to make certain your idea hasn’t already been patented
  • Hire a patent attorney
  • Determine the type of patent you’ll need
  • File for a provisional patent
  • Become a registered eFiler
  • Research and complete your formal application

You may want to consider consulting a patent attorney to help you with the filing process. Many patents have been lost due to improper filing, or failure to pay the licensing fees. Your patent attorney can help you make certain that your property is protected, and that all the filings are done properly.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Flint, Michigan Patent Lawyer?

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

Genessee News reports that only 1 patent was granted to a Flint inventor in the month of April. This is 3 less than the patents that were granted in the previous month. The patent was granted to Dribble Stick Training LLC. However, the company had filed for the patent in June 2020. Despite this slow process, the U.S. Government has granted more than 60,000 patents between 2009 and 2019.

If you believe an individual or business entity has infringed upon your patent rights, you have every right to fight back. The best way to do this may be to hire a Flint patent attorney who can enforce your rights.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Flint, Michigan

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