Patent Law in Springfield, MO

Patent attorneys in Kansas City are ready to help you safeguard your designs and intellectual property. It is not uncommon for those with an inventive or entrepreneurial spirit to go it alone when filing for a patent. But, a mistake or slip could cause delays. This could allow another to patent your idea or invention first.

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 residing in Springfield can file their patent application with the Midwest Regional Office of the USPTO. However, there are specialized resources available in the city. The Springfield- Greene County Law Library is a resource center available to those living in Springfield. Inventors and entrepreneurs seeking to protect their work, and bring it to market, can conduct research here.

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, MO 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 MO

The process of applying for a patent in Springfield, Missouri 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 Missouri Revisor of Statutes cautions all inventors to refrain from making money off their inventions until it has been properly patented. Commercializing inventions before they are properly patented can open you up to theft. It can also trigger patent deadlines, and prevent you from commercializing your invention in other countries. Certain countries demand a patent before a new product is introduced to the populace.

The Missouri Eastern District Court also provides an in-depth guide to the patent filing process. All Springfield inventors should:

  • Document your work, either in writing or on video
  • Make sure your invention qualifies for a patent
  • Conduct a patent search
  • Consult with an experienced Kansas City patent attorney

When Should I Hire a Qualified Springfield, Missouri 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.

The Springfield Standard reports that there was only 1 patent received in the area for the calendar year of 2021. The patent was granted to Andy Green, and revolved around an adjustable groove masonry clamp. According to the publication, there was also only 1 patent granted in the area in 2020 as well.

There are times when bad actors may try to use, or misuse, a product to which you hold the patent rights. This is when an experienced attorney in Springfield can help you hold your ground and protect your work. Your attorney can also pursue possible monetary damages for someone blatantly using your property.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Springfield, Missouri

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 Missouri 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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