Patent Law in Mississippi

A spirit of individuality has led to some of our great inventors and entrepreneurs. However this same spirit may cause you to try and file a patent for your work rather than seek the services of an experienced Mississippi patent attorney. This may not be the best way to protect your intellectual property, and bring it to the market.

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.

Mississippi residents seeking to file a patent for their invention or establish a trademark can do so with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The office, located in Jackson, allows inventors to sign up for inventor workshops in the region. It also serves as a network opportunity with entrepreneurial organizations in the state. These networking events allow inventors to generate interest around their invention. As well it affords them the opportunity to raise capital to possibly produce their invention on a larger scale.

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

Mississippi 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 Mississippi

The process of applying for a patent in Mississippi 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 Mississippi Office of Technology Commercialization provides detailed steps and analyses in regards to filing a patent for your intellectual property. All Mississippi inventors should be aware that it is very risky to attempt to commercialize your invention or design before receiving your patent. When filing you should always:

  • Determine the type of patent needed
  • Determine if the invention requires a patent
  • Research if a patent already exists for this invention
  • Consult a patent attorney

The Small Business Development Center of Mississippi encourages all inventors in the state to take art in their Assistance programs. These programs include coaching, finance sources, and even guidance on how to pitch a new idea. They also provide basic classes on patents to help you understand the scope of how patent laws work. However, they cannot offer legal advice. Only an experienced patent attorney can help you accurately navigate this process.

When Should I Hire an Experienced Mississippi Patent Lawyer?

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

Reuters reports that a patent infringement case was recently filed in Mississippi courts regarding Moderna. Arbus is suing Moderna, claiming that they developed the lipid proteins that made Moderna’s covid vaccine possible. A federal court rejected Moderna’s plea to have the case dismissed. As a result, Moderna’s stock fell, while Arbus’s stock rose 11%.

Bad faith actors exist, whether we want to acknowledge this or not. An experienced patent attorney in Mississippi can help you protect your work, and may even save you money in the long run. If an individual, or company, infringes on your patent, you may be entitled to court costs, attorney’s fees, and even monetary damages.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Mississippi

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 Mississippi 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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