Patent Law in Omaha, NE
Omaha inventors and entrepreneurs have given several creations to the world. These include butter brickle ice cream, frozen dinners, and the reuben sandwich. However, it is vital that you protect your intellectual property with a patent. This will allow you to enforce your rights should any bad faith actors try to use your property for their own gain.
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.
Omaha inventors will most likely file their patent application with the Rocky Mountain Regional Office of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, the USPTO provides beneficial resources for inventors to do patent research, and facilitates events and workshops to help entrepreneurs expand their reach.
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
Omaha, NE 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 Omaha NE
The process of applying for a patent in Omaha, Nebraska 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.
Nebraska Access provides a breakdown of resources throughout the state that Omaha inventors can use as they begin the patent process. This breakdown guides inventors in the type of patent that must be applied for, how to conduct research, and how to avoid certain pitfalls. It also gives insight into both provisional applications and non-provisional applications. However, none of this is to be construed as legal advice. For sound legal advice you should consider approaching an experienced patent attorney in Omaha.
When Should I Hire a Qualified Omaha, Nebraska Patent Lawyer?
There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Omaha 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.
The University of Nebraska Omaha ranks in the top 100 nationally for patents. These new inventions and innovations are vital to spurring the economy and bringing new goods or services to the market, and the population at large. However, you should be wary of bringing your invention to market without a patent in place. If you choose to do this, you’ll begin a countdown of one year where the government will demand that you garner a patent.
Before you bring your invention to market you may want to consider consulting with an experienced Omaha patent attorney. He or she can help you not only with the application process, but also with enforcing your patent rights should anyone infringe upon them.
Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Omaha attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Nebraska state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!