Patent Law in Ohio

What do the airplane, the light bulb, and chewing gum all have in common? They are three of the many inventions developed by Ohioans over the past 200 years. If you’ve dreamed of your original idea becoming an integral part of life like these inventions, you’re not alone. However, securing a patent is very competitive, and the application is highly complex. Fortunately, an experienced Ohio patent attorney can guide you through the legalities of this process to help you secure the patent of your dreams.

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.

Ohio inventors can deal with the USPTO Midwest Regional Office, located in Detroit, Michigan. For additional support, Ohio inventors can access any of the five Patent and Trademark Centers, located in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo.

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

Ohio 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 Ohio

The process of applying for a patent in Ohio 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.

Prior to 2013, you could file your patent within one year of the date the invention was first offered for sale or was in public use. After 2013, this grace period became more limited. Consequently, The Ohio Bar Association recommends filing a patent application as soon as possible, ideally before public disclosure of the invention. Working with an Ohio patent attorney will ensure your application meets all legally required deadlines.

Additionally, the Ohio Bar states that your invention must be new, useful, and not obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art. Your patent application must contain a detailed, written description of the invention, and one or more claims that define the invention. Additionally, you must submit drawings of the invention. Typically, the USPTO recommends doing a novelty or prior art search. This will determine whether the invention has already been patented, described in a printed publication, or used by someone else.

When Should I Hire an Experienced Ohio Patent Lawyer?

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

One of the main benefits of securing a patent is the ability to generate royalties from licensing it. Under Ohio Code, you have the right to license intellectual property, including patents. However, licensing your patent is not always a straightforward process. Specifically, you must know the value of your patent, conduct due diligence on the proposed relationship, and consider non-disclosure agreements during negotiations. Hiring an experienced Ohio patent attorney can be the difference between success and failure in securing a profitable patent licensing agreement.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Ohio

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 Ohio 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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