A patent represents a bargain made between the government and the inventor. In return for the right to keep others from using the invention for a specific period of time (currently 20 years from filing in the United States), the inventor must enhance the public knowledge by adding something new or useful through the invention. Patents typically protect either functional elements of an invention (utility patents) or ornamental elements of an invention (design patents), although businesses may obtain both utility and design patents depending on the type of business.
An invention that may qualify for patent protection is a new way of solving a problem, or a useful new machine, manufacturing, or composition of matter. Patentable inventions may span a wide spectrum of novel ideas including devices, chemical compounds, biological materials, research methods and tools, production processes, software, or other new products. To qualify for patent protection, the invention must be new and useful and it must not be obvious to one of ordinary skill in the field.
Being able to obtain patent protection can be helpful to one’s business as it can stop competitors from performing the invention without the business’ permission. It can be daunting, and understandably a financial investment, to enter the patent protection system. However, by having a trusted partner in the process, you can trust that your valuable inventions are being protected and you will have someone walking with you through each step of the process.
Kirby Drake Law will help you through all stages of patent prosecution including, but not limited to,:
- Due diligence to reasonably confirm that the invention may be eligible for patent protection;
- Preparation of U.S. and/or foreign patent applications that meet the requirements; and
- Completion of the patent prosecution process and maintenance of issued patents.
The cost of consulting an attorney to file and/or maintain a patent can be minimal in comparison to the costs that may arise in attempting to salvage a provisional patent application containing serious errors, reviving a patent application that has lapsed, or fighting a patent infringement lawsuit. Kirby Drake Law is here to help you get that knowledge and feel empowered through the patent process. No project is too small, and no question is too insignificant when it comes to protection of your inventions.
Want to learn more? Check out these materials and presentations and contact Kirby Drake Law to discuss your patent needs and next steps: