Patent Law in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Minneapolis-St. Paul inventors should do all they can to protect their inventions, designs, and discoveries. Bad faith actors exist, and may try to take your work to benefit themselves. This is why an experienced patent attorney in Minneapolis-St. Paul is key to protecting your property.

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.

Residents of Minneapolis-St. Paul that are seeking to file a patent to protect their intellectual property will file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Most will probably choose to file with the Midwest Regional Office located in Detroit.

Lexology states that receiving a patent allows you to protect against copying, and protect a company’s ability to do business with the product. Patents also help you increase market position, and improve your CV. In addition, while you may not be able to personally bring your invention to the market, a patent can help you establish licensing fees with an entity who can.

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

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 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 Minneapolis-St. Paul MN

The process of applying for a patent in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota 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 Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development states that a patent cannot be obtained if the invention is fraudulent, frivolous, or injurious to morals, health, or good order. In order to obtain your patent you should first research to make sure that your invention or design is new. Many patents are derailed simply because the invention already exists.

You should be certain what type of patent you need, and then seek the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in Minneapolis-St. Paul to help you file. The University of Minnesota offers resources to inventors seeking to protect their intellectual property. They also offer step by step guides to commercializing your invention or design, as well as marketing tools to help bring it to the public.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota Patent Lawyer?

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

Incubate IP offers up several reasons as to why hiring a patent attorney is far preferable than attempting to patent your invention on your own. Patent attorneys bring their expertise and knowledge of patent law, which can help you avoid several pitfalls. Their preparation and execution of legal documents can save you valuable time. In addition, if anyone attempts to infringe upon your patented property, their legal advice is indispensable.

Remember, your property is your own. If you find someone is infringing upon your property, you are well within your rights to defend yourself. An experienced Minneapolis-St. Paul patent attorney can help you put an end to such infringement.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

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