Patent Law in Tacoma, WA

Have you or someone you know enjoyed an Almond Roca recently? As reported by Seattle Magazine, this sweet treat exists thanks to a Tacoma-based company.

Do you have the next big thing in snacking? Or, have you created a new way to deliver medicine? Regardless of your field of expertise, patent protection is how you can secure your legacy. Discover how to get started or protect your IPs in our article 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.

Inventors in Tacoma can schedule a consultation with the Silicon Valley USPTO Office to ask a few questions. They can also consider utilizing the University of Washington Patent and Trademark Resource Center.

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

Tacoma, WA 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 Tacoma WA

The process of applying for a patent in Tacoma, Washington 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.

Tacoma residents can wait years before they secure patent protection for their inventions. After filing, the average wait reported by the USPTO is over a year and a half.

However, there is due diligence to complete before submitting anything to the U.S. government. The patent office has even gone to the trouble of creating a Seven-Step Strategy for this critical task.

With that work finished, an inventor and their patent attorney can go through the rest of the patent lifecycle:

  • Preparation for the application
  • Submitting materials and paying the designated fees
  • Responding to notes during the examination process
  • Maintaining the right to the intellectual property

When Should I Hire a Qualified Tacoma, Washington Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Tacoma 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, small business owners in Tacoma may need to protect themselves from nuisance lawsuits. A prominent example is non-practicing companies that threaten litigation against small business owners. The Office of the Attorney General has even taken action against them under the Patent Troll Protection Act.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Tacoma, Washington

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

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!

How It All Works

Call us or answer the questions on this site. Your category, location, and additional information will help us connect you to a legal professional and we’ll send you the results instantly.

Which Areas of Law?

We have attorneys in over 20 legal categories to choose from.

How Much Does This Cost?

We don’t charge you to be connected. Some legal categories require upfront fees while others do not. The legal professional will determine this with you before you commit to anything.