Patent Law in Sarasota, FL
Did you know that a local inventor has created around 50 board games? According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Tim Walsh has created a fun legacy with his many creations.
Patenting a game, new technology, or gadget is not easy. But, those who get through the gauntlet have an exclusive right to benefit from its ingenuity. If you have concerns about infringement, a patent attorney is often necessary to take civil actions. Whatever your needs, you will find a path toward answers in this article.
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 in Sarasota can find some help with their questions through the USPTO headquarters in Virginia. They can also consider using a Patent and Trademark Resource Center in Orlando for their research needs.
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
Sarasota, FL 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 Sarasota FL
The process of applying for a patent in Sarasota, Florida 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.
Inventors in Sarasota need to complete some due diligence before finishing any documentation. In particular, they need to scour sources like a USPTO database or Google Patents for similar ideas. This process can be rigorous and frustrating to novices due to the thoroughness examiners expect.
The next steps that can benefit from hiring a patent attorney include:
- Determining to pursue a plant, utility, or design patent protection
- Putting together a coherent and optimized application strategy
- Completing all documents and submitting them to the USPTO with the appropriate fees
- Submitting a corrected version of the application to examiners
When Should I Hire a Qualified Sarasota, Florida Patent Lawyer?
There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Sarasota 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.
Another growing trend in recent years is the emergence of patent trolls. Companies that hold intellectual property have grown increasingly litigious. If you find yourself defending an infringement allegation, a consultation can help you understand your risk.
Alternatively, entrepreneurs in Sarasota with a patent portfolio have the right to defend their ownership. If you believe someone else has profited from your hard work, a lawsuit is often necessary to recuperate losses.
Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Sarasota, Florida
A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Sarasota attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Florida state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!