Patent Law in Sioux Falls, SD
Sioux Falls residents that are looking to bring their invention or design to market should consider protecting their property with a patent. While we don’t like to think of certain scenarios, there are bad faith actors who would infringe upon your right if given the opportunity. An experienced Sioux Falls patent attorney can help you protect your property.
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 Rocky Mountain Regional Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is the most likely place where Sioux Falls inventors and designers will file their patent applications. However, this process can be complicated and time consuming. Sioux Falls Business reports that there was a drop in patents granted to Sioux Falls residents in 2021. For the calendar year, only 207 patents were granted.
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
Sioux Falls, SD 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 Sioux Falls SD
The process of applying for a patent in Sioux Falls, South Dakota 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 McKusick Law Library acts as a research resource for those in Sioux Falls seeking to gain patent protection for their intellectual property. Located on the campus of the University of South Dakota, you can use the resources available to determine what type of patent you need. Or possibly to find out if anyone has already patented such an invention.
You must remember that the patent process is just that, a process. It can take months, if not years to receive your patent. You should also be aware that no member of a library or research staff is qualified to give you legal advice regarding your patent. For this you should seek the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in Sioux Falls.
When Should I Hire a Qualified Sioux Falls, South Dakota Patent Lawyer?
There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Sioux Falls 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.
The Attorney General of South Dakota has assured Sioux Falls inventors that legislation to stop so-called “patent trolls” is a high priority. These individuals seek to acquire patents, and then lie in wait for a business to infringe upon them. They will then attempt to extract a settlement fee, or even an ongoing licensing fee for the use of the technology. Most businesses will end up paying this style of ransom or blackmail in order to avoid an even more costly and lengthy trial.
Bad faith actors abound, whether we like to admit it or not. This shouldn’t make us cynical, just practical. And the most practical way that an inventor or designer can protect their work is with a patent. The most practical and efficient way of receiving this patent may be to consult a Sioux Falls patent attorney.
Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Sioux Falls attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across South Dakota state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!