Patent Law in Phoenix, AZ
The creation of any invention can bring previously unimaginable wealth and prestige to life. But, there is a gauntlet of potential challenges to get through first.
Hiring a patent attorney is a particularly critical choice for first-time or novice inventors. Alternatively, even seasoned professionals need help protecting their intellectual property. Whatever your needs may be, you can get started by reading this article today.
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.
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
Phoenix, AZ 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 Phoenix AZ
The process of applying for a patent in Phoenix, Arizona 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.
The Arizona Secretary of State has some advice and resources to offer inventors who undertake this endeavor. However, you are largely on your own unless you hire legal counsel.
Complications can occur at any stage of the patent process. Phoenix residents need to clear these hurdles without errors, omissions, or unnecessary information:
- Picking one or a combination of protections – patent, copyrights, trademarks, or trade secrets
- Conducting thorough research to judge your invention’s patentability
- Choosing to pursue one of three types of patents – utility, design, or plant
- Putting together a coherent and relevant application strategy
- Preparing diagrams and other documents to send to the USPTO
- Replying to the examiner who reviews the application
- Collecting the Notice of Allowance upon approval
- Paying the maintenance fees and filing for non-provisional protection before deadlines
When Should I Hire a Qualified Phoenix, Arizona Patent Lawyer?
There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Phoenix 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.
Businesses in Phoenix may find a need to seek redress in civil courts to prevent patent infringement. If you have to go to court, the end result can include critical injunctive relief.
Winning a lawsuit will typically include payments for damages, court fees, and attorney bills as well. However, you don’t want to set expectations and enter into civil action with rose-colored glasses. As a result, it’s wise to temper your anticipation with a dose of straightforward legal advice.
Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona
A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Phoenix attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Arizona state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!