Patent Law in Rockford, IL

Did you know that the inventor of the universal joint for vehicles was from Rockford? Whether you knew it or not, you may not have the car you drive today without Carl E. Swensen.

Finding a place in history for yourself and your invention depends on a complicated application process. On the other hand, you can face challenges protecting your enterprise from patent infringement. Regardless, you may be in a situation that calls for expert legal advice. Discover some of the essentials you need to know to take action with us 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.

The Midwest Regional USPTO Office has some resources to offer inventors from Rockford. At present, there is also a Patent and Trademark Resource Center in Chicago.

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

Rockford, IL 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 Rockford IL

The process of applying for a patent in Rockford, Illinois 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.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, most applicants pursue a utility or design patent. However, entrepreneurs in Rockford may have cause to chase a plant patent. Furthermore, this decision is only one of many that can depend on complexities in the law.

Before anything tangible happens, inventors should search for patents that match theirs. The details of this process go far beyond trying a series of keywords. Patent attorneys have a perspective that matches their experience with what examiners consider unique.

With this critical work completed, you can move on to preparing an application strategy. For example, you will need designs and documents that exceed expectations. Otherwise, you could be tied up with problems that lead to a rejection.

Completing the process will involve hard deadlines to provide a response to an examiner’s notes. If this final stage makes you particularly nervous, strongly consider hiring legal representation.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Rockford, Illinois Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Rockford 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.

Moreover, Rockford residents may want to hire legal counsel to appeal an examiner’s findings. U.S. patent law places the burden of proof for the rebuttal on the applicant. As a consequence, having an expert in arguing patentability can make the difference between success and failure.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Rockford, Illinois

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