Patent Law in Nashville, TN

Can you imagine a world without cotton candy? According to The Tennessean, we wouldn’t have this treat without the innovative spirit of a Nashville resident.

Whether you’ve created a new food or life-saving gadget, you may need the services of a local patent lawyer. Find out the essentials of the application process and what legal counsel can provide with us today.

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.

Inventors in Nashville are fortunate to have a Patent and Trademark Resource Center at Vanderbilt University. They also have the option to take advantage of services from the Texas Regional Office.

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

Nashville, TN 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 Nashville TN

The process of applying for a patent in Nashville, Tennessee 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.

Even more importantly, inventors in Nashville must complete research to prove they have a novel invention. This task is so critical that it’s inadvisable to forge ahead without the necessary expertise. For example, a patent attorney will have hundreds or thousands of hours of experience. Lacking this level of knowledge for what examiners look at will put you at a disadvantage.

Generally speaking, the next step in the patent process is to design an application strategy. Once again, planning for the eventualities will require familiarity. You cannot plan properly for what an examiner will red flag without going through this process beforehand.

Once you submit your application, patent pendency data suggests you will wait 19 months for a response. Once the first office action occurs, you have to respond within a strict time frame. Otherwise, you will need to reapply and repay the fees.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Nashville, Tennessee Patent Lawyer?

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

As stated by Entrepreneur Magazine, it’s worth a business leader’s time to consider their exposure to patent infringement. Otherwise, an innovator in Nashville can lose out on revenue to unscrupulous competitors.

Ideally, legal notices like a cease and desist letter will stop their behavior. If that fails, you may have to prepare for a court battle.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Nashville, Tennessee

A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Nashville attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Tennessee 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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How Much Does This Cost?

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