Patent Law in Providence, RI
Inventors in Providence should seriously consider seeking the counsel of a patent attorney to protect their property. Many have lost their creative ownership through mistakes such as filing improperly, or bringing their invention to market before it was protected. An experienced Providence patent attorney can help you avoid pitfalls in the filing process.
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 Secretary of State of Rhode Island encourages all Providence inventors to protect their inventions and designs with a patent or a trademark. When you file, you should make sure to consult all the material provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. These offices will allow you to file a patent application, as well as attend workshops and networking events specifically designed for inventors and entrepreneurs.
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
Providence, RI 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 Providence RI
The process of applying for a patent in Providence, Rhode Island 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 University of Rhode Island provides a comprehensive study of the patent process for those residing in Providence. When applying for a patent you should always do your research. Make sure that your invention qualifies for a patent, and be certain that such a patent does not already exist.
The URI Division of Research and Economic Development serves the Providence community by connecting inventors and designers with commercialization partners. When you file for your patent you must also be sure to include documentation of your process. This can be as simple as a written journal, but you can also use video recordings to show your work.
When Should I Hire a Qualified Providence, Rhode Island Patent Lawyer?
There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Providence 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.
The Rhode Island Senate recently passed legislation to stop the practice of patent trolling. This happens when someone acquires a patent in order to extract licensing fees. If someone attempts to engage in this type of behavior, an experienced patent attorney in Providence can help you.
Whether it is on purpose, or by mistake, no one is allowed to infringe upon your patent rights. If this happens, you are not only entitled to relief from this behavior, but you may also be entitled to monetary damages. In addition, you may also be entitled to have the infringing party pay your attorney’s fees.
Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Providence, Rhode Island
A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Providence attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Rhode Island state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!