Patent Law in San Antonio, TX
San Antonio Inventors have been part of the technological revolution that has changed the world over the last 100 years. From seatbelts, to reverse thrusters for jets, and even lasik eye surgery, San Antonio inventors have been shaping our future for decades. If you have a mind to follow in these footsteps, you should consider protecting your work with a patent. An experienced patent attorney in San Antonio can help.
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.
Entrepreneurs and inventors in San Antonio will most likely file their patent applications with the Texas Regional Office of the USPTO. The regional office provides walk-in information for applicants, grants the use of collaborative spaces for patent educators, and offers remote access to proceedings hosted by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
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
San Antonio, TX 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 San Antonio TX
The process of applying for a patent in San Antonio, Texas 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 San Antonio Bar provides an extensive list of research locations that inventors in the area can use to conduct patent research. Locations such as the Bexar County Law Library allow inventors to gather information to determine what type of patent they need, and if their invention will even qualify for a patent. In addition, you should be aware that over 9 million patents exist in the U. S. alone. So an inventor filing for a patent should be certain that the invention he or she seeks to patent does not already exist. An experienced San Antonio patent attorney can help you navigate this process.
When Should I Hire a Qualified San Antonio, Texas Patent Lawyer?
There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then San Antonio 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.
Banking Dive reports that PNC was ordered to pay $218 million to USAA in a patent infringement lawsuit. The claim hinged on patented technology involving mobile-check cashing technology and apps. While USAA has also won judgments against Wells Fargo for similar infringement on the same product, this is the largest settlement they have been awarded.
You have every right to enforce your patent rights and keep individuals or companies from profiting from your work. If such infringement persists, your best course of action may be to seek the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in San Antonio. He or she can help you get injunctive relief, as well as pursue damages as necessary.
Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in San Antonio, Texas
A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified San Antonio attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Texas state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!