Patent Law in Texas
Are you ready to contribute to a long history of innovations from the Lone Star State?
Texas Monthly has chronicled some of the state’s most famous and significant inventions. Artificial heart implantation, Colt Walkers, and Dr. Pepper are only the beginning.
You have the opportunity to add your creation to this legacy and secure a life-changing patent as well. Discover how a patent attorney near you can help turn this dream into a reality starting 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 from something for which you hold the patent.
You can discover if you have a patentable idea through institutions like the University of Texas. In addition, the Texas Regional Office can offer help or point you in the right direction.
What Are the Types of Patents?
There are three different types of patents inventors can apply for. Each patent has specific 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
Texas inventors often file a provisional patent first, which is 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 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 Texas
The process of applying for a patent in Texas 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 University of Texas Libraries illustrates the essentials of this process. However, you will also want to keep the associated fees in mind.
Generally, the tasks you need to complete are:
- Pick between the pursuit of a patent, trademark, or copyright
- Determine if your invention meets the standards for patentability
- Choose to pursue a design, plant, or utility patent
- Consult with a patent attorney to prepare for your application
- Finish your documentation and submit it to the patent office
- Navigate the examination process
When Should I Hire an Experienced Texas Patent Lawyer?
There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Texas patent law lawyers can help you. They 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.
Protecting your patent from infringement is another critical priority for inventors and entrepreneurs. In fact, The Texas Lawbook reports that the state experienced a flood of patent lawsuits in 2021.
As a result, your patent attorney may start by sending cease and desist letters or filing for injunctions. The timeline for a lawsuit can be years long, and this compels people to act on infringements as soon as possible.
Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Texas
A patent lawyer provides a great service in assisting with securing and managing your patent. You should meet with an attorney to discuss how he or she can help you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Texas state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!