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A Brief Look Into Filing US Patents

Aug 17, 2007
When it comes to filing a patent, there are several important things for you to take into consideration. First of all, you need to understand what a patent is as well as how the process works. Although there are different types of patents that you can and should file, it is necessary to have an overview of the process to take you on the road to obtaining the patent that is right for your need. The good news is that the agency has made the process as simple as possible (for the government anyway!) You can get your need started right away and be well on your way to getting the goals that you have accomplished.

To obtain a US patent, you will need to go through several channels. The first thing that you need to learn is just what having a patent will do for you. A patent will provide you with the property rights to the invention, whatever that may be. It allows you to have the rights to make decisions about what the thought or plan is. It helps you to keep your idea safe from others, too.

A patent may seem like something that you can put off. Perhaps you think that the paperwork is just too stressful. The problem is that someone else may not think so and will file before you. Should this happen, you can not get your own patent for the invention down the road. That is something that you do not want to do.

The US Patent and Trademark Office will take your information and then examine it. This is a governmental agency that you are working with. They take each application that is provided to them and will then determine if you can obtain a patent for that invention. They handle the examining of the application as well as the issuing of the actual patents.

But, this office also goes one step further. You can find a wealth of information on the site that can provide you with the education that you need to make the right decisions about your invention. One of the first things that you will need to do is to insure that you have the right attorney and experts at your side. The Patent Office can help to provide this information to you because it lists many of the attorneys available for the task right at their site. Of course, you can also find someone on your own, if you like.

For those that are going to be filing a patent, it is important for you to know which patent is the right one to file under. For a design patent, you will need to have a very specific type of invention. That is, it will need to be something that is a new item, an original item and something that is ornamental design in the field of an article of manufacture. If this is the type of invention that you have created, a design patent application will be necessary.

When it comes time to fill out that patent, you will need to provide figure descriptions, providing details of the invention, elements of it, black and white photos of it, surface shading and drafting symbols, various views of it and much more. All of this information will then be used by the US Patent and Trademark Office to determine the correct requirements.

A plant patent includes the invention or discovery and asexually reproduced some type of new and distinct variety of a plant. That is, it must be other than a tuber propagated plant or one that is found in an uncultivated state.

This is a very unique patent, indeed! If you have this type of plant and would like to have your idea patented, it is necessary for you to file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as soon as possible to secure your rights to the plants design and sale. This type of patent actually lasts for 20 years during which times no one can create, reproduce or in any way sell your plant without your prior written permission.

There are certain qualifications for your plant patent. For example, this type of patent is selected for those that have any living plant organism that has it own set of characteristics that is determined by its genetic makeup that can be duplicated through asexual reproduction. It recognizes sports, mutants, hybrids as well as transformed plants. Also included are algae and macro fungi but bacteria is not considered to be a plant.

You will need a utility patent if you have and invention that deals with any of the following subjects.

- A new and useful process
- A new and useful machine
- A new and useful article of manufacture
- A new composition of matters
- An improvement to any of the above stated conditions

If you do not hire someone that has professional experience to handle your patent needs, it is very likely that you will need to do the work yourself and that may take longer to handle. It is hard work. The United States Patent and Trademark Office provides you with a number of different options to consider. For example, you can find a local attorney or a patent expert in your area to handle the process for you. Or, you can work directly with the agency if you choose. In addition, you can work through the online forms for certain types of patents. In short, there are many ways to get it done, but what is the right one?

There are several benefits to getting help in filing your patent.

1. You have someone that has experience in doing this and can walk through the steps easily.
2. You have someone that knows what details are needed as well as how they should be presented.
3. You also have someone that knows what to look for to insure that your patent is available as quickly as possible.
4. They know how to check to insure that no one else has a patent of any item that is similar or the same as yours.
5. They provide you with the ability to do all of the hard leg work while you continue designing and implementing your invention.

As you can see, there are a number of reasons why you should consider hiring a professional to handle your patent application. If you do not do this, you will need to get a good education in the process as well as provide yourself with the necessary tools to make it happen successfully.
About the Author
Dennis J. Cole is founder of DJ & H Unlimited a family owned business formed to provide a network of helpful and interesting web sites like DJ & H Links Unlimited our link directory located at http://links.djhunlimited.com .
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