Patent Law in Pennsylvania

No one likes to prepare for the worst, but when safeguarding your inventions or designs, that is exactly what you should do. Bad faith actors exist, and it is not unheard of for someone to infringe upon patent rights. But having an experienced Pennsylvania patent attorney in your corner could prove to be very beneficial.

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.

With offices located in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the United States Patent and Trademark offices allows investors in Pennsylvania to file patents in order to protect their intellectual property. While adhering to strict guidelines and deadlines, the USPTO does grant extensions and relief under certain circumstances. You may want to ask your Pennsylvania patent attorney to monitor the System Status and Availability of the USPTO.

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

Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania

The process of applying for a patent in Pennsylvania 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.

Funding Circle provides a detailed breakdown of the patent process in Pennsylvania. You’ll need to research the type of patent required. You’ll also have to research if a patent already exists for your invention or design. When you are ready to file your patent you’ll have to include:

  • A written document containing specifics for your intellectual property
  • Detailed drawings
  • Filing fees
  • An oath of declaration that you are the first inventor

You can also file for a provisional patent. This is an early filing document that will allow you more time to gather what you need for a proper patent. However, a provisional patent will not morph into a full patent. For this you must complete your application. You may want to seek out an experienced patent attorney in Pennsylvania to help you.

When Should I Hire an Experienced Pennsylvania Patent Lawyer?

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

Reuters reported that in February of 2022 the University of Pennsylvania sued Roche’s Genentech for patent infringement. This suit was filed on the basis that UPenn discovered a new treatment for breast cancer that had been illegally infringed upon. The suit alleges that 4 separate treatments were taken.

While you may like to believe the best in people, this is not always the case. There are bad faith actors who seek to take advantage when they can. If this happens to you in the form of infringement, an experienced Pennsylvania patent attorney can help protect what is yours.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania 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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