Patent Law in Melbourne, FL

Inventors and entrepreneurs in Melbourne should take every possible action when protecting their intellectual property. The best way to do this is to establish a patent or trademark for your property. There are bad faith actors who may try to infringe on your patent rights, but an experienced patent attorney in Melbourne can help you stand against such a practice.

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.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offers a variety of workshops, classes, and networking events in the service of helping inventors protect their property with a patent. These workshops are generally hosted by seasoned inventors, with patents of their own, who can help walk you through the patent process, and what it entails. However, they will not be qualified to give you legal advice. Most Melbourne inventors will file their applications for a patent with the USPTO Headquarters located in Virginia.

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

Melbourne, FL 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 Melbourne FL

The process of applying for a patent in Melbourne, Florida 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 Brevard County Law Library is a learning and resource center where you can conduct your patent research. Before filing a patent you should be certain that your invention qualifies for patent protection. Inventions or designs that are deemed to be “obvious” will not be granted a patent. In addition, mistakes with the application can doom your patent before you even start. O’brien Patent Solutions list the most common reasons patents fail or are denied. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure to include adequate descriptions
  • Failure to provide adequate drawings
  • Necessary fees are not paid
  • Public disclosure, but failure to submit the patent application in time

When Should I Hire a Qualified Melbourne, Florida Patent Lawyer?

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

WSVN News reports that a patent holder lost his patent when he did not pay the $2,300 necessary for maintenance fees. The USPTO had sent his reminder notice to the wrong address and he had unintentionally allowed the patent to lapse. The USPTO offered to reinstate his patent if he paid the maintenance fee, and a late fee. The inventor refused to pay the late fee due to the reminder being sent to the wrong address, however, the USPTO is not required to send you a reminder of any kind. It is on the inventor to maintain all fees that are due.

An experienced patent attorney in Melbourne can assist you if you experience patent infringement. We don’t often like to think in these terms, but there are those who will take advantage of others if they can. If you experience such infringement, your attorney can file to uphold your rights. In addition, your attorney can seek costs and damages that you have suffered due to the infringement.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Melbourne, Florida

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

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