Patent Law in St. Petersburg, FL, FL

According to CultureTrip, Floridians have given the world the first personal computer, sunscreen, and hurricane classification.

What invention do you want to add to this list?

Getting your name and creation into the history books means going through the arduous patent process. While an inventor in St. Petersburg does not have a legal requirement to hire a lawyer, it’s highly advisable. Find out why and what you can do to start obtaining intellectual property today.

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 nearest USPTO presence that may have resources for inventors from St. Petersburg is their national headquarters. Another institution to consider contacting is the Orlando Patent and Trademark Resource Center. They can point you in the right direction of databases for research and strategies for completing due diligence.

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

St. Petersburg, FL, 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 St. Petersburg, FL FL

The process of applying for a patent in St. Petersburg, FL, 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.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, applicants wait around 30 months to secure a patent. With this timeline in mind, it can be more appealing than ever to hire a patent attorney. Losing application fees is bad enough. But, suffering the loss of that much time can sink a burgeoning enterprise in St. Petersburg.

The steps published by the USPTO to plan for include:

  • Clarifying whether you need to apply for one or more of these options: patent, trademark, or copyright
  • Evaluating whether your invention is patentable or not
  • Distinguishing between your intent to file for a plant, design, or utility patent
  • Considering which application strategy works best for your circumstances
  • Completing all required documents, sending them, and paying for fees
  • Correcting issues identified by the examiner assigned to your application
  • Receiving approval for the patent
  • Maintaining the intellectual property by paying fees at regular intervals

When Should I Hire a Qualified St. Petersburg, FL, 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 St. Petersburg, FL 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.

Additionally, entrepreneurs in St. Petersburg may need to fend off infringement allegations. As reported by LexisNexis, litigation from non-practicing entities is a complicated problem to address. More and more small businesses become targets of these lawsuits each year.

Or, if you found a copycat company, you’ll need an attorney to inform them of their civil liability. If you go to court and win, you may receive damages and attorney fees as compensation.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in St. Petersburg, FL, Florida

A patent attorney provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with a qualified St. Petersburg, FL 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!

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