Patent Law in Fort Myers, FL

Every inventor remembers that spark, that moment when lightning struck their imagination and they began their journey to create their invention or design. But sadly, many inventors also remember the moment they went wrong. The moment when they should have protected their work through a patent or trademark, but through mistakes or negligence fell short. To avoid such a misstep, you should consider seeking the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in Fort Myers.

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.

Fort Myers residents can use the host of resources provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. They can also file their patent applications with the office headquarters in Virginia. The USPTO offers educational courses for inventors, as well as workshops that allow inventors to meet entrepreneurs and discuss the appropriate way to bring an invention to market.

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 Myers, FL 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 Myers FL

The process of applying for a patent in Fort Myers, Florida 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 Florida Division of Corporations reminds inventors that there are certain rules that, while they may seem small, could disqualify your patent application. For instance, when you sign your patent application you have to sign in blue or black ink. Any other color will cause your application to be denied. In addition, if you pay your patent application fees by check or money order, the payment must be drawable upon a U.S. bank.

You should also perform copious amounts of research before filing your application. You should be certain that your invention qualifies for a patent, and be certain of which type of patent you need to apply for. You should also make sure that there is not already an existing patent for your invention. Inventors in Fort Myers can research their patent needs at the Lee County Law Library.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Fort Myers, Florida 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 Myers 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.

Patent approval is a process, and can take far longer than most would like. Lee Today reports that the USPTO took over 900 days to approve a patent application filed by Jackson Pools Inc. That set an all-time record, surpassing the previous record of 736 days for patent approval in Fort Myers.

If you experience patent infringement, you may want to hire an experienced patent attorney to make sure your rights are enforced. Remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with standing up for yourself, and protecting your intellectual property. Your patent attorney can stop the misuse of your intellectual property, as well as pursue damages, court costs, and attorney fees if necessary.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Fort Myers, Florida

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