Patent Law in San Jose, CA

San Jose is home to much more than The Capital of Silicon Valley. According to The Culture Trip, we can also thank the city for Eggos and The Wave.

Believing that you have created the next generation of food, technology, or even crowd participation is one thing. Protecting your right to it as intellectual property is quite another.

Obtaining a patent means going through a complex and often frustrating application process. Determine for yourself today what essentials you need to know and how a patent attorney can help you.

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.

There is a Patent and Trademark Resource Center for research at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. Another critical resource is the Silicon Valley USPTO Office in San Jose City Hall.

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 Jose, 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 Jose CA

The process of applying for a patent in San Jose, 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 State of California offers resources for basic application instructions and answers to general questions. Otherwise, patent applicants from San Jose are on their own. The unfortunate consequence is even the most skilled individuals can make mistakes. Accordingly, local patent attorneys have the experience necessary to help their clients succeed.

Obtaining and maintaining intellectual property means knowing how to navigate:

  • Deciding to pursue one or more of the following – patents, copyrights, trademarks, marketing plans, and trade secrets
  • Going through extensive research methodology to prove an invention is patentable
  • Discerning whether a concept calls for a design, plant, or utility patent
  • Determining what strategy would work best
  • Submitting an initial application
  • Responding to deficiencies or other feedback from government examiners
  • Receiving official approval of the patent protection
  • Checking on the status of the intellectual property and paying fees

When Should I Hire a Qualified San Jose, 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 Jose 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.

Any mistakes made by inventors from San Jose can set them back in regards to time and expensive fees. In some cases, applicants can leave out critical details that they wouldn’t know to look for without experience. In fact, the USPTO asserts that the most frequent omissions include:

  • Micro Entity Certification
  • Application Data Sheet
  • Signatures
  • Specification Format
  • Drawing Format

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in San Jose, California

A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified San Jose 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!

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