Patent Law in New Hampshire

Did you know that a clockmaker from Concord invented the alarm clock?

According to New Hampshire Magazine, Levi Hitchens made his invention from a brass clock, mirrored doors, and a cabinet. Whether you’ve tinkered in your garage or a laboratory, you may have created something that will change our everyday lives.

However, do you need an attorney to protect your concept? Starting today, find out what you can do to get the most out of your ingenuity.

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.

Anyone seeking a patent in New Hampshire can contact the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria for help. They can also research their invention with the Concord Patent and Trademark Resource Center.

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

New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire

The process of applying for a patent in New Hampshire 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.

Before you start on the forms, the foremost concern is researching existing patents. Taking this step is critical enough that the USPTO recommends a seven-step strategy.

Inventors in New Hampshire will often identify the patent they need during this stage. But, the preparation involved often benefits from having a patent attorney. Otherwise, you can waste time, money, and precious resources. The same principle applies while working with an examiner. Prompt responses, fees, and other factors need accounting to secure the legal protection you’re seeking. Accordingly, juggling these aspects with your best interests at heart can take an experienced hand.

When Should I Hire an Experienced New Hampshire Patent Lawyer?

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

A few noted publications like Entrepreneur Magazine point out the dangers of applying for a patent without legal help. A few of the problems they can help inventors in New Hampshire avoid include:

  • Not disclosing enough about the concept to secure a non-provisional patent
  • Relying too much on a provisional patent
  • Providing incorrect characterizations of similar inventions
  • Failing to file a non-provisional application one year after receiving a provisional patent
  • Disclosing too much about other inventions not primarily related to your work

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in New Hampshire

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 New Hampshire 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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