Patent Law in Springfield, IL

Illinois has provided the world with several novel inventions. Barbed wire, zippers, pinball machines, and even cell phones can all be attributed to inventors in the state. Springfield inventors and entrepreneurs looking to bring their inventions to the world should take every precaution to protect their property. This might entail seeking the counsel of an experienced Springfield, IL patent attorney.

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.

Those seeking patent protection in Springfield will most likely file their applications for patents with the Midwest Regional Office of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO also allows you to attend Patent and Trial Board Hearings. Through these hearings you can learn more about the patent process, and how to navigate it.

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

Springfield, IL 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 Springfield IL

The process of applying for a patent in Springfield, Illinois 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 Secretary of State of Illinois provides a list of resources available to inventors in Springfield to assist them in their patent research. The Leslie S. Malpass Library acts as a resource center for inventors who are conducting patent research. Please remember that this is a process, and can be time consuming. But a mistake in the application process can set you back in receiving your patent. To avoid any pitfalls you may want to consider seeking the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in Springfield.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Springfield, Illinois Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Springfield 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.

SIG Sauer has filed a patent lawsuit against Springfield Armory regarding the use of patented technology concerning magazines for pistols. Springfield, IL has maintained that the patent suits are without merit. They have released a statement claiming that their magazine design is an innovation on existing technology.

There is nothing wrong with standing firm if some individual or corporation is infringing upon you patent rights. But it will be hard to do it alone. For these purposes you may want to seek out an experienced patent attorney in Springfield. He or she can help you enforce your rights, as well as pursue damages if any exist.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Springfield, Illinois

A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified Springfield attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Illinois 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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