Patent Law in San Francisco, CA
Are you convinced you have an invention worth patenting or protecting from infringement?
SFGATE reports that the city has contributed innovations from mountain bikes to atomic bomb materials. No matter what your creation does, it may need a San Francisco patent attorney to take its place in history. Understanding the essentials and how to protect intellectual property starts with the information below.
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.
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 Francisco, CA 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 Francisco CA
The process of applying for a patent in San Francisco, California 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 patent life cycle has five phases to obtain and maintain the right to intellectual property. Consequently, San Francisco residents will need to complete the following successfully:
- Researching and learning about similar patents
- Preparing to complete the application
- Filing a thorough application and paying the associated fees
- Participating in the examination stage to correct omissions or errors
- Maintaining the patent by paying fees or applying for further protection
Each stage has its complexities under U.S. laws and regulations. As a result, local patent attorneys understand how they relate to your invention. This knowledge is critical enough that the government and other sources recommend novices hire legal counsel.
When Should I Hire a Qualified San Francisco, California 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 Francisco 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 reported by HowStuffWorks, most patent applications receive a rejection initially. This fact can make having a patent attorney even more critical. Their experience with the process means they will understand how to amend your documentation. Otherwise, you’ll have to go back to the proverbial drawing board or the appeals process.
Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in San Francisco, California
A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified San Francisco attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across California state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!