Patent Law in Lansing, MI

Did you know that the inventor of fiber optics was born in Lansing?

In fact, Donald Keck went on to join the National Inventors Hall of Fame. If you want to join him and others, you will need patent protection for your invention. Unfortunately, it is well-known that the process is rough for first-timers or amateurs.

Whether you’re only getting started or an old pro, find out what a patent lawyer can do for you in this article 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.

Inventors in Lansing can do portions of their research through the Detroit Patent and Trademark Resource Center. Additionally, the Midwest Regional USPTO in Detroit offers services like interviews and speaking events.

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

Lansing, MI 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 Lansing MI

The process of applying for a patent in Lansing, Michigan 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 HowStuffWorks, the patent process is challenging and can take around 18 months. Moreover, the associated fees start in the $200 to $850 range. Omissions, irrelevant data, and other factors can result in a reapplication and suffering these costs again.

Accordingly, even seasoned innovators from Lansing can benefit from legal advice while completing these steps:

  • Establish whether you need a patent, copyright, or trademark
  • Diagnose the patentability of your invention
  • Assemble your application strategy
  • Construct your documentation and send it to the federal government
  • Cooperate with feedback from your examiner
  • Collect approval for your patent

When Should I Hire a Qualified Lansing, Michigan Patent Lawyer?

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

Entrepreneur Magazine, like other trusted publications, points out the risks of going alone in this endeavor. A patent attorney from Lansing can help you avoid the following pitfalls:

  • Incorrect characterizations of related experiments
  • Having to seek angel fund investors while going through due diligence
  • Failing to apply for non–provisional patent status before the deadline
  • Lacking the necessary disclosures for a provisional filing

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Lansing, Michigan

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