Patent Law in Virginia Beach, VA

Did you know that a teen from Virginia Beach invented a water bottle featured on Shark Tank?

No matter your age or innovation, a patent is necessary for legal protection against copycats. But, obtaining intellectual property is not a simple or easy task.

Inventors going down this path will likely need legal assistance to get to the finish line. Discover what hiring a patent attorney can mean for you 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 from Virginia Beach are fortunate to have the USPTO headquarters nearby to ask questions about the process. They should also consider utilizing the research tools available from the Burlington 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

Virginia Beach, VA 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 Virginia Beach VA

The process of applying for a patent in Virginia Beach, Virginia 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.

Submitting documentation is only the beginning of a long wait for most inventors in Virginia Beach. At the time of writing, the patent pendency data from the government suggests a 20-month wait for a first office action. And once you hear from a government examiner, they will establish strict deadlines to give a thorough reply.

Overall, the tasks that a patent attorney will have expertise in completing are:

  • Designing a successful application strategy
  • Ensuring drawings and diagrams meet expectations
  • Evaluating documents for completeness before sending them to the government
  • Answering feedback from examiners

When Should I Hire a Qualified Virginia Beach, Virginia Patent Lawyer?

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

An increase in letters threatening lawsuits or nuisance litigation has prompted changes to Virginia law. Making bad-faith claims of patent infringement can lead to clearly established civil liabilities. If your organization in Virginia Beach needs to defend itself, schedule a consultation with an attorney.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Virginia Beach, Virginia

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