Patent Law in Oregon

Oregon inventors should take every step available to protect their work. One of these steps is to patent your invention or design. However, navigating this process can be difficult and time-consuming. As such, you may want to hire an experienced Oregon patent attorney to help you protect your intellectual property.

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.

Headquartered in Virginia, the USPTO has branch offices in Oregon. Inventors in the state can protect their designs and discoveries by applying for a patent with this office. In addition to filing their patent, inventors, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to take part in workshops provided. One example, Strategies for IP Protection in China, educates inventors on how to enforce their patent rights in hostile countries. This workshop is being organized by the U.S. Export Assistance Center, as well as local bar associations.

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

Oregon 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 Oregon

The process of applying for a patent in Oregon 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.

Oregon Health and Science University help break down the patent process for those wishing to file in Oregon. The first steps involve researching to make sure that your invention requires a patent. You must also determine whether or not a patent exists for this particular invention or design. Once you have this information you’ll need to determine what type of patent you require. There are 3 main patents; utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.

Hiring a patent lawyer is very beneficial, as they are well-versed in the system and know how to avoid pitfalls. In fact, the Oregon State Bar theorizes that patent lawyers are among the proudest and most dedicated because of their connection to the “American Dream”. They take pride in helping their clients because their clients come to them with pride. One interviewee remarked, “No one comes to you boasting of their felony or divorce. But patents have a way of improving people’s lives.”

When Should I Hire an Experienced Oregon Patent Lawyer?

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

Oregon Live states that Intel infringed upon 2 separate patents belonging to VLSI Technology. The patent protected a process regarding the manufacture of computer chips. Intel was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2.2 billion. As a result of the verdict, Intel’s stock dropped by 2.6%.

Patent law may seem dry, or boring. But in cases of infringement, an experienced patent attorney in Oregon could be indispensable. In addition to protecting your intellectual property, your patent attorney may be able to procure compensation. This could come in the form of monetary damages, but also in the form of attorney’s fees and court costs.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Oregon

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 Oregon 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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