Patent Law in Toledo, OH

Toledo is home to many famous inventors. Automated glass blowing machines and spray atomizers were both invented in Toledo. In addition, Alanson Wood also hails from Toledo. He is the inventor of the modern roller coaster. Current Toledo residents that are looking to bring their inventions to the world should seriously consider protecting their work with a patent.

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.

Most Toledo inventors and designers will file their patent applications with the Midwest Regional Office of the USPTO. The USPTO offers classes for inventors that attempt to help them simplify the patent process. In addition, there are also inventor and entrepreneurial workshops that seek to pair inventors with the capital necessary to bring their inventions to market.

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

Toledo, OH 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 Toledo OH

The process of applying for a patent in Toledo, Ohio 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 Ohio State Bar confirms that there is no grace period if you are attempting to patent your work in a foreign country. In order for your work to be protected in other countries, you must obtain a patent before the property is brought to market, or mentioned in a publication. You’ll need to be certain such a patent does not already exist, and secure the correct type of patent, whether it is utility, design, or plant.

The Lucas County Law Library is an excellent resource for those conducting patent research before filing their application. You can also conduct research at the College Law Library on the campus of the University of Toledo. For inventors and entrepreneurs alike, it is important to understand as much of the patent and trademark process as possible. Still, your best option may be to hire an experienced patent attorney in Toledo so that there are no mistakes made in the filing process.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Toledo, Ohio Patent Lawyer?

There are multiple reasons to hire a patent attorney. If you want the assurance of having someone acting on your behalf, then Toledo 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.

It’s important to remember that the patent process is exactly that, a process. The Toledo Reporter states that the longest wait time for a Toledo inventor to receive a patent is 763 days. It’s also important to remember that while a patent is necessary to protect your property, it is not a guarantee of success. In fact, many patents expire prematurely because patent holders forget to pay the costs to renew. If you have questions or concerns regarding the protection of your intellectual property, your best course may be to seek out an experienced Toledo patent attorney.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Toledo, Ohio

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

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