Patent Law in Fort Collins, CO

Inventors in Fort Collins should go to great lengths, and exhaust every avenue when protecting their inventions or designs. In service of this idea, you can protect your intellectual property by filing a patent. However, patent law is incredibly nuanced, and you may want to seek the expertise of an experienced Fort Collins patent lawyer to avoid any pitfalls or hangups.

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 Rocky Mountain Regional Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office located in Denver is where many Fort Collins residents choose to apply when attempting to safeguard their intellectual property. The USPTO is also affiliated with Startup Fort Collins, an event that brings together inventors and entrepreneurs in the Fort Collins area.

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

Fort Collins, CO 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 Fort Collins CO

The process of applying for a patent in Fort Collins, Colorado 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 Colorado Business Resource Book provides a thorough breakdown of the patent process in Colorado. The average cost of filing for a patent is between $5,000 and $20,000. Patents are good for 20 years, except for certain types of ornamental designs. These design patents only last for 15 years. Your patent application must include a description with enough detail so that anyone trained in the appropriate field could reproduce the item.

The Colorado State University Library, as well as the Westminster Law Library, serve as valuable resources for inventors to conduct patent research. You should be certain that your property qualifies for a patent, and be certain of which type of patent you’ll need to file. In addition, there are over 9 million patents in the U.S. alone. Be sure that your invention has not already been patented.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Fort Collins, Colorado Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Fort Collins 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 Loveland Reporter Herald reports that several Fort Collins inventors recently received patent protection for their intellectual property. Superb Technologies has been granted a patent for a fluid damping system for traction drive. This device was created and engineered by Jarred Howe.

You can never be too careful or cautious when it comes to protecting your inventions. Bad faith actors exist, and are willing to take advantage of people if it helps meet their own needs and ends. With this knowledge, it is always wise to protect and patent your inventions. Still, the best way to achieve this protection may be to seek the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in Fort Collins. He or she can help you navigate the application process, and enforce your rights should anyone infringe upon them.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Fort Collins, Colorado

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

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