Patent Law in Greensboro, NC

How many stories have you heard about great inventors from North Carolina?

The State Library of North Carolina chronicles the achievements of inventors from the state carefully. Many already know the names Wilbur and Orville Wright. But, there are others that deserve more attention and accolades for their contributions.

If you’re preparing for a patent application, you’re in a position to receive recognition for your ingenuity. Find out how to get started or defend your intellectual property in Greensboro with us today.

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.

A critical element of any application from Greensboro will involve using several resources to conduct research. For instance, you may want to use the Raleigh Patent and Trademark Resource Center or contact the USPTO headquarters.

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

Greensboro, 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 Greensboro NC

The process of applying for a patent in Greensboro, 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.

Current pendency data suggests you’ll wait 19 months before the first action by the government happens. Accordingly, inventors from Greensboro will want to have confidence that their documentation is thorough. Having a patent attorney involved can make you breathe easier once you’ve paid the fees and submitted your documents.

According to U.S. Code, a government examiner will review and identify any shortcomings. Furthermore, they may flag omissions or superfluous elements. You must respond satisfactorily before strict deadlines expire to receive approval.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Greensboro, 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 Greensboro 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.

Moreover, business publications like Entrepreneur Magazine identify the risks of not hiring a patent attorney. For example, you could fail to disclose information or make statements an examiner will consider inaccurate.

There is also the critical issue of gaining your return on investment as soon as possible. The USPTO fee schedule includes costs that can reach thousands of dollars. As a result, each response you send could result in costly and time-wasting reapplications.

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

A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Greensboro 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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