If you are a hobbyist or a small business owner, you may be understandably wondering whether it is worth the time, effort, and stress that accompanies acquiring formal patent protection. Especially if very few people are going to be utilizing your invention, you may be hesitant to invest so much into this process. When you schedule a risk-free consultation with a patent lawyer San Luis Obispo, CA residents and businesses trust at Sierra IP Law, PC, we will provide you with an objective analysis of whether pursuing formal patent protection is worth your while. Our consultation process is a no-pressure environment in which you can ask any questions that may be on your mind and in which you can voice any concerns that may be plaguing you.
Chances are that patenting your invention will be worth your time and effort. Why? This formalized intellectual property protection process will help to ensure that no one uses or profits from your invention without your consent. But perhaps just as—or even more—importantly, securing patent protection will better ensure that no one accuses you of infringing upon their intellectual property rights.
It is unfortunately commonplace that after something has been invented, another party—which may or may not be malicious—will sue the original inventor for infringing upon their intellectual property rights. How does this work? Say that you invented a whatzit. You didn’t patent your whatzit because you were only going to use it in limited capacities. Then, either another individual or company maliciously patents your whatzit just so that they can sue you (or your business) for infringement—OR—another party invents the same whatzit later than you do, patents it, and then demands that you stop using and/or profiting off of yours.
Formally patenting your inventions can help you to protect your intellectual property (actively) and can help you to defend yourself against those who would accuse you of infringing upon their rights to your invention.
If you own a small business, an experienced San Luis Obispo, CA patent lawyer at Sierra IP Law, PC can help you to patent your inventions for the benefit of your company. Whether you’re seeking a utility, plant, or design patent, we can help to ensure that your business mitigates its risk of liability and—under certain circumstances—enhances its profitability and/or productivity by having formal patent protections in place.
If another company sues yours for infringement, the costs could devastate your operations. Conversely, protecting your inventions could benefit your share of the market by giving you some kind of edge over your competitors. In either case, you need to be proactive about securing intellectual property protections for the benefit of your business. The experienced California team at Sierra IP Law, PC can help you to achieve this important goal.
Note that patents are different than copyrights, trademarks, and protection of trade secrets. Please note that our San Luis Obispo, CA patent lawyer team can assist you in securing any of these protections that you may benefit from as well.
When you are looking to file a patent you must first determine if your patent applies to your invention. Not everything is patentable, and you need to answer the following questions and do the following things to ensure that your patent can be patented. You should see if your invention has already been disclosed publicly, and you cannot get a patent if it has been. And if you are not experienced at performing these kinds of searches then you should reach out to a patent lawyer, because they are going to know exactly how to file these searches and help you ensure that your invention is different enough from existing ones that can be patented and protected under the United States law.
After doing that you need to decide what kind of patent that you need. There are three types of patents, utility, design and plant patents. And each type of patent focuses on a very specific need or aspect of the invention. Utility patents can be granted for anyone that invents or discovers a new or useful process, a machine, an article of manufacturing, or composite, or any new useful improvement of an existing utility patent. A design patent is granted to anyone who invents a new original and ornamental design for articles that are manufacturable.
A utility patent is known in layman terms as a patent for invention and they are the most common type of patent available in the United States. These are issued in connection with new and useful processes, machines, composites, or improvements. Some examples of things that are patented under utility patent to our things like computer software, medical equipment, tools, chemical compositions, genetically altered life forms and improvement. These patents allow the owners to exclude others from making or using or selling these inventions for a 20 year period from the date that the patent is filed. Anything filed under utility patent must be deemed useful; operability, practical use and beneficial use will be taken into regard when filing for a utility patent.
A design patent on the other hand is used in connection with new and original ornamental designs that are contained with or applied to something that is manufactured. A design patent allows the owner of this patent to exclude others from making or using or selling this patent design for 14 years.
Plant patents are issued for the discovery or invention of a new and distinct asexually reproductive plant. This can include hybrids, seedlings, mutants and cultivation.
"Partnering with Mark Miller at Sierra IP Law is one of the smartest choices I could have made in the world of bringing a new invention to market. He is extremely responsive, knowledgeable, and professional. I could never have conceived of the areas he has advised me on and covered in attempting to write a patent on my own. He and his team have not only insured that my Intellectual Property Rights are well protected, but they have advised and recommended additional protections that I could not have thought of otherwise. I highly recommend Sierra IP Law to anyone looking for a strong and trustworthy legal partner."
Sierra IP Law, PC - Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights
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