Patent Law in Georgia

Filing and defending a patent application is a time consuming, legally complex, and exhaustive process. Not only are you competing with other inventors, but you must also survive a rigorous and adversarial review process. It is not surprising that applicants who proceed without legal help have a 76% abandonment rate. Read on to discover why hiring an experienced Georgia patent lawyer can be the difference between success and failure in securing a patent.

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 from something for which you hold the patent.

Georgia inventors can deal with the USPTO Eastern Regional Outreach Office (EROO), located in the USPTO Virginia Headquarters. In addition, there is a Patent and Trademark Resource Center located in Atlanta.

What Are the Types of Patents?

There are three different types of patents inventors can apply for. Each patent has specific 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

Georgia inventors often file a provisional patent first, which is 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 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 Georgia

The process of applying for a patent in Georgia 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.

According to Georgia State University, the patent application contains a detailed description of your invention. In addition, you must show how the invention overcomes any problems and disadvantages considered to exist in prior inventions. Furthermore, the application contains claims that will define the scope of your invention. A patent examiner reviews those claims, and you will have to provide detailed written responses to defend your patent.

It can take up to three years to complete the application process and secure your patent. Remember, your patent will have a lifespan of 20 years if you are successful. The patent prosecution process is adversarial in nature and the majority of patent applications are initially rejected. Working with an experienced Georgia patent attorney can help streamline the process, keep your application on track, and secure your patent.

When Should I Hire an Experienced Georgia Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then  Georgia patent law lawyers can help you. They 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.

Managing a patent can be as much work as securing a patent. An experienced Georgia patent lawyer can help you license the patent, and defend against patent infringement. Additionally, having legal help is critical in the event someone falsely accuses you of infringement.

In 2014, Georgia enacted legislation prohibiting bad faith assertions of patent infringement. The law requires the posting of a bond when a bad faith claim has been made. The law also provides for enforcement and damages, including court costs and fees.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Georgia

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