Patent Law in Wyoming

New inventions and the entrepreneurial spirit are what drive us forward. However, the same spirit may cause us to “go it alone” when it comes to filing the patent paperwork necessary to protect our intellectual property. To avoid any mistakes or problems in the filing process, you may want to hire an experienced patent attorney in Wyoming.

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.

Wyoming residents seeking to protect their inventions or designs can file a patent application with the USPTO in Cheyenne. These offices provide networking events for inventors, as well as entrepreneurial workshops in certain areas of the state. These workshops allow inventors to educate themselves on how to bring a new invention to market. In addition, the USPTO catalogs utility patents for the state. This graph shows all the utility patents filed by Wisconsin inventors from 2000 to 2015.

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

Wyoming 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 Wyoming

The process of applying for a patent in Wyoming 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 Wyoming states that if an invention or design is created by more than 2 people, they must file for a patent jointly. If an inventor is deceased, a patent application may be filed by a legal representative of his or her estate. Also you must ascertain what type of patent you need to file, whether it is a utility patent, a design patent, or a plant patent. Additional research is also required to determine if your invention requires a patent, and to be certain that an existing patent is not already in place.

The Wyoming State Library provides the necessary resources for you to conduct this patent research. However, you may want to engage an experienced patent attorney to help you with this process. As this is a very specialized area of the law, it may be beneficial to have an expert in your corner.

When Should I Hire an Experienced Wyoming Patent Lawyer?

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

PR Newswire reports that C-MOR Services is filing a suit for patent infringement against U.S. Southern Drilling, and against Ensign Energy Services. The lawsuit claims that the corporations breached their contracts and committed patent infringement when they illegally used a lighting system that had been developed by C-MOR. In addition to an injunction from further use, C-MOR is seeking both monetary damages and court costs.

While many seek to avoid conflict, you must defend your patent rights if you find that someone is infringing upon them Your best defense of your rights may be to hire an experienced patent attorney in Wyoming.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Wyoming

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 Wyoming 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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