Patent Law in Rapid City, SD

The entrepreneurial spirit is what propels the economy forward. This same spirit is what moves inventors in Rapid City to bring new and innovative products to market. However, you should seriously reconsider bringing a product to market before you have received the protection of a patent. This protection will keep certain bad faith actors from profiting off of your work.

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.

Inventors and entrepreneurs residing in Rapid City will most likely file their patent application with the Rocky Mountain regional office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. There are also regional locations in Rapid City that offer workshops and networking events for those in the area. These events allow inventors to meet with entrepreneurs and investors to explore the possibility of raising capital, as well as getting a breakdown of the patent process.

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

Rapid City, SD 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 Rapid City SD

The process of applying for a patent in Rapid City, South Dakota 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 Deveraux Library is an invaluable resource for inventors researching the parameters to patent their work in Rapid City. Patent research may seem daunting, but it is of vital importance. Any missed steps or mistakes can cause a large setback in receiving your patent. You must ascertain

  • If your invention qualifies for a patent
  • The type of patent necessary for your work
  • If your invention has already been patented by someone else

You must remember that the patent process is just that; a process. It can take months, if not years to receive your patent. You should also be aware that no member of a library or research staff is qualified to give you legal advice regarding your patent. For this you should seek the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in Rapid City.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Rapid City, South Dakota Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Rapid City 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 Attorney General of South Dakota has assured inventors in Rapid City and throughout the state that he is seeking legislation to stop so-called “patent trolls”. These trolls seek to acquire patents, and then lie in wait for an individual small business to infringe upon them. They will then attempt to extract a settlement fee, or even an ongoing licensing fee for the use of the technology.

Bad faith actors exist, whether we like to admit it or not. This shouldn’t make us cynical, just practical. The most practical way that an inventor or designer can protect their work is with a patent. Furthermore, the most practical and efficient way of receiving this patent may be to consult a Rapid City patent attorney.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Rapid City, South Dakota

A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Rapid City attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across South Dakota 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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