Patent Law in Little Rock, AR

Patent laws are necessary for Little Rock inventors to protect their intellectual property. While we may not want to think about bad faith actors who would infringe upon someone else’s invention or designs, they exist. For this reason, it may be in your best interest to seek the help of an experienced patent attorney in Little Rock. He or she can help you secure your patent. As well, they can assist in defending your property in court.

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.

Little Rock residents can file their patent applications with the Texas Regional Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO also provides workshops, networking events, as well as a list of regional resources you can use to aid your application process. In Little Rock, one such resource is the Arkansas State Library.

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

Little Rock, AR 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 Little Rock AR

The process of applying for a patent in Little Rock, Arkansas 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 Arkansas State Library provides a resource center for those seeking to file patents and trademarks in Arkansas. They liaise with the United States Small Business Association as well as the Arkansas Small Business Technology and Development Center. When filing for your patent application you should always:

  • Be certain that your invention requires and qualifies for a patent
  • Be certain that an existing patent is not in place
  • Consult with a patent attorney to decide what type of patent you will need

While an experienced patent attorney in Arkansas is not necessary in order for you to file your patent, the Arkansas Secretary of State strongly recommends seeking the counsel of a patent attorney. Filing for a patent can become quite complicated, and it is not unheard of for someone to file incorrectly. If this happens, your intellectual property is exposed to bad actors who may try to take it for their own.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Little Rock, Arkansas Patent Lawyer?

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

Unfortunately, patent infringement is something that you may have to defend against when it comes to your invention or your intellectual property. Not only can an experienced patent attorney help you file and secure your patent, but they can also help you to defend yourself against unscrupulous actors.

Inside Higher Ed reports that as early as January of 2022, a college professor in Arkansas named Simon Saw-Teong Ang pleaded guilty to the FBI in regards to lying about patents. Although Ang has only plead guilty to 1 count of lying to the authorities, he is still under investigation for another 58 counts. These investigations include not only patent fraud, but also wire fraud.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas

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