Patent Law in Yakima, WA

Yakima inventor Fred Paxton is the man responsible for inventing the product we know as bread clips. According to the story he carved the first clip out of an expired credit card and used it to tie off a bag of peanuts. If you are seeking to bring an invention to market, you may want to protect it with a patent. In doing so, you may want to seek the advice of an experienced patent attorney in Yakima.

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.

Designers and creators in Yakima that are seeking to protect their intellectual property and designs will most likely file with the Silicon Valley Regional Office located in California.

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

Yakima, 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 Yakima WA

The process of applying for a patent in Yakima, 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 Washington State Library is a tremendous resource for those Yakima inventors who are conducting patent research. They provide pro bono programs for new inventors and small businesses, as well as maintain a patent network to encourage creativity and innovation. They also sponsor events with the help of the USPTO.

Patent research is a huge part of the process, and must be conducted thoroughly. Any mistakes or missteps could cause delays, and may even allow someone else the time to patent a similar invention. If you have any questions or concerns you may want to seek the counsel of an experienced patent attorney in Yakima.

When Should I Hire a Qualified Yakima, 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 Yakima 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.

The Yakima Herald reports that local inventor and former police officer, Nate Henyan, has been developing a new fire extinguisher to aid teachers in the event of an active shooter situation. He believes that a larger, more controllable item such as a repurposed fire extinguisher can be used to incapacitate or debilitate a shooter, even more effectively than a firearm.

While obtaining a patent does not necessarily mean you will not have to deal with bad actors, it does give you the leverage to enforce your rights. If you encounter patent infringement, your best course may be to hire an experienced Yakima patent attorney. He or she can best help you protect your intellectual property.

Work with an Experienced Local Patent Attorney in Yakima, Washington

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