Patent Law in Philadelphia, PA

According to Philadelphia Magazine, the city has produced a long series of “firsts.” Trailblazing locals have brought the world products like soda, pencils with erasers, and even toilet paper rolls.

If you have an invention that can eclipse these advancements, you’ll need legal help to protect your profits. Find out how, from start to finish, hiring a patent attorney can help you achieve success beyond your wildest 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 off of something for which you have a patent.

Local inventors can use the PTRC at the Free Library of Philadelphia for research purposes. They can also consider scheduling time with the USPTO headquarters in Virginia to ask questions.

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

Philadelphia, PA 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 Philadelphia PA

The process of applying for a patent in Philadelphia, 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.

Completing research before filling out an application is essential to success. Accordingly, the USPTO recommends a seven-step strategy for preliminary searches. The importance of thoroughness and experience cannot be overstated. Without the expertise of a patent attorney, it can be hazardous to guess whether a government examiner will agree with your assessment.

Once someone from Philadelphia completes this due diligence, they can move on to these steps:

  • Decide between applying for utility, design, or plant patent
  • Prepare an application strategy that fits your invention
  • Handle feedback during the examination process
  • Receive and document approval for the intellectual property
  • Pay maintenance fees to maintain the right to the patent

When Should I Hire a Qualified Philadelphia, 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 Philadelphia 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.

Philadelphia entrepreneurs also need to protect the value of their intellectual property. While the U.S. Department of State encourages enforcement, the responsibility falls on the owner.

In some circumstances, business owners will have to take infringers to court. Otherwise, legal threats can stop the activity that steals from your unique products or services.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Philadelphia 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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