Patent Law in Vancouver, WA

Do you know someone who has participated in Camp Invention?

This annual event focuses on getting elementary school students excited about science and creating innovations. Clearly, fostering invention is a high priority and long-standing tradition in Vancouver.

Regardless of your age, obtaining a patent for your invention can be a tremendous challenge. You will find out how to get started and the advantages of having legal expertise below.

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 government office that can answer questions from a Vancouver inventor is the Silicon Valley USPTO. Another resource that locals can use for research is the Patent and Trademark Resource Center in Seattle.

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

Vancouver, 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 Vancouver WA

The process of applying for a patent in Vancouver, 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.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce states that most inventors seek a design or utility patent. But, there are cases where someone from Vancouver would pursue the plant option.

No matter what you choose, there will be a significant amount of hurrying and waiting. This dynamic often results in clients seeing the value in hiring a patent attorney. When time is of the essence, and you have to get things right, experience can be a critical factor.

Overall, the patent cycle phases the USPTO expects applicants to handle are:

  • Learning about similar patents through research
  • Designing an application strategy
  • Filing all required documentation and paying fees
  • Adjusting diagrams, drawings, and other elements based on examiner feedback
  • Keeping the right to the intellectual property

When Should I Hire a Qualified Vancouver, 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 Vancouver 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.

A terrible nuisance to small businesses are cease-and-desist letters or lawsuits claiming patent infringement. In response, the state government has passed laws against these bad-faith assertions.

Alternatively, businesses in Vancouver need to enforce their patent to ensure it continues to drive revenue. If you go to court and win, the defendant will likely have to pay damages and your legal fees.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Vancouver, Washington

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

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How Much Does This Cost?

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