Patent Law in Pittsburgh, PA

Do you believe you have a product that will change how the world works?

Local nonprofits like the Heinz History Center document innovations that come from Pittsburgh. From the first movie theater to emoticons, the city has been at the forefront of ingenuity since its earliest days.

However, adding your name and creation to this legacy has its hazards. Even minor omissions can result in losing time and hefty application fees. Discover what you can do to ensure success in the following sections.

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.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a Patent and Trademark Resource Center for locals to complete research. Another source of help can come from the USPTO headquarters in Virginia.

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

Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh PA

The process of applying for a patent in Pittsburgh, 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.

There are eight steps to the patent process, and each has its own laws and regulations to consider. Failing to take the relevant factors into consideration can result in a rejection. As a result, having a patent attorney is a practical necessity to prevent years of frustration.

Overall, inventors from Pittsburgh will have to successfully navigate their way through:

  • Establishing whether you need a patent, copyright, or trademark
  • Finding out if your invention is patentable through meticulous research
  • Organizing an application strategy
  • Drawing up all necessary documents and sending them to the U.S. government
  • Cooperating with notes about omissions, extraneous information, and other issues
  • Sustaining your right to intellectual property by paying fees or filing for non-provisional protection

When Should I Hire a Qualified Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh 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.

As stated by Investopedia, giving patentability arguments in front of a judge is a critical skill for patent lawyers. However, they also have the expertise needed to shut down patent infringement.

Innovators in Pittsburgh that do not actively pursue civil redress do so at their peril. It is up to the intellectual property holder to defend their right to it.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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