Patent Law in Massachusetts

Planning for unfortunate events is never fun or easy. But when it comes to defending your intellectual property, it’s a necessary step. This is why it may be in your best interest to engage the services of an experienced Massachusetts patent lawyer.

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.

With offices located in Boston and Amherst, the USPTO allows inventors and entrepreneurs in Massachusetts to apply for patents to protect their intellectual property. In addition, networking events are offered to help promote new inventions and designs. Entrepreneurs can also take advantage of workshops designed to help them improve their skills and networks.

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

Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts

The process of applying for a patent in Massachusetts 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 University of Massachusetts Amherst gives a full breakdown of patent processing in the state. Filing an application can be a lengthy process. In fact, it typically ranges anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This is why you should keep detailed records of the process of how you created your invention or design. In addition to filing a patent application, you’ll also have to file an Information Disclosure Statement. These showcase and outline the features of the invention in question.

It may also be in your best interest to research previous patents to make certain that your invention is not already patented. You can do your research at the Massachusetts Law Library, or have an experienced patent attorney help you research.

When Should I Hire an Experienced Massachusetts Patent Lawyer?

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

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly affirms that there has been a recent clarification to various aspects of patent law in the state. If you move for a clarification order surrounding the construction of your patent claim, you can now expect an almost universal granting of this motion. However, you and your attorney must be certain that patent law applies to your case.

In addition, an experienced Massachusetts patent attorney could be instrumental in not only protecting your property, but also in saving you money. If someone infringes upon your claim, they may have to pay court costs, attorney fees, and even damages.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Massachusetts

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 Massachusetts 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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