Patent Law in Springfield, MA

Planning for unfortunate events is never fun or easy. But when it comes to defending your intellectual property, it’s a necessary step. This is why it may be in your best interest to engage the services of an experienced Springfield patent lawyer.

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.

While there are ancillary facilities located in Boston, most Springfield residents will file their patent applications with the USPTO Headquarters in Virginia. In addition, the USPTO offers networking events to help promote new inventions and designs. Entrepreneurs can also take advantage of workshops designed to help them improve their skills and teach them about the patent process.

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, MA 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 MA

The process of applying for a patent in Springfield, Massachusetts 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.

A full breakdown of patent processing in Springfield is provided by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Filing an application can be a lengthy process. In fact, it typically ranges anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This is why you should keep detailed records of the process of how you created your invention or design. In addition to filing a patent application, you’ll also have to file an Information Disclosure Statement.

It may also be in your best interest to research previous patents to make certain that your invention is not already patented. You research this for yourself, or seek out an experienced Springfield patent attorney to help you.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Springfield, Massachusetts 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.

According to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, there has been a recent clarification regarding aspects of patent law. If you move for a clarification order surrounding the construction of your patent claim, you can now expect an almost universal granting of this motion. However, you and your attorney must be certain that patent law applies to your case.

In addition, an experienced patent attorney in Springfield could be instrumental in not only protecting your property, but also in saving you money. If someone infringes upon your claim, they may have to pay court costs, attorney fees, and even damages.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Springfield, Massachusetts

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 Massachusetts 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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