Patent Law in Idaho

Do you spend time imagining how much a patent for your invention could be worth?

According to the Cato Institute, obtaining this legal protection for your idea can be like winning the lottery. But, securing a patent is also the catalyst an Idaho entrepreneur needs to transform products and services. If you believe that you may need legal counsel to make this happen, discover what you need to know below.

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.

The public can utilize the Idaho Patent and Trademark Resource Center to research existing patents. Additionally, the nearest USPTO presence is the Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Denver.

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

Idaho 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 Idaho

The process of applying for a patent in Idaho 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.

Filing for your patent is only the beginning of a years-long process. According to current data, the average time for a first office action is 19 months. There are also associated fees for various aspects of granting your application to plan for carefully.

Overall, Inc. Magazine currently identifies the following eight steps:

  • Search the USPTO database for any patents for your idea that may already exist
  • Discuss your plans with an attorney
  • Choose between a design, utility, or plant patent
  • File for a provisional patent
  • Organize your formal application
  • Finish and review your paperwork
  • Respond promptly to feedback from the federal government

When Should I Hire an Experienced Idaho Patent Lawyer?

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

Infringements on patented ideas are another typical reason to hire a patent attorney in Idaho. The motivations of the perpetrators may be benign neglect or outright fraud. No matter why they’ve trespassed, you have a legal right to notify them that they’re in the wrong. Keep in mind, these disputes often occur between notable businesses. For example, KTVB reported an infringement lawsuit against Micron Technology in April 2022.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Idaho

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 Idaho 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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