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Patent Laws Part One

Aug 18, 2007
A patent basically gives the legal right to one person to exclude others from using, making, offering to sell, importing the patented invention, or using the invention.

There are three kinds of patents, there is patent called a utility patent, another one called a plant patent , and a third called a design patent. A utility patent is granted 20 years for something new, useful, and non obvious products and processes. Plant patents are granted for 20 years and are literally for actual plants that are discovered and are asexually reproducing and distinct. Design patents run for 14 years and are granted for new original and ornamental designs for articles of manufacture.

For utility patents federal provides that:
Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

A person shall be entitled to a patent unless
(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or

(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States, or

(c) he has abandoned the invention, or

(d) the invention was first patented or caused to be patented, or was the subject of an inventor's certificate, by the applicant or his legal representatives or assigns in a foreign country prior to the date of the application for patent in this country on an application for patent or inventor's certificate filed more than twelve months before the filing of the application in the United States, or

(e) the invention was described in (1) an application for patent, published under section 122(b), by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent or (2) a patent granted on an application for patent by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent, except that an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) shall have the effects for the purposes of this subsection of an application filed in the United States only if the international application designated the United States and was published under Article 21(2) of such treaty in the English
language; (1) or

(f) he did not himself invent the subject matter ought to be patented, or

(g)(1) during the course of an interference conducted undersection 135 or section 291, another inventor involved thereinestablishes, to the extent permitted in section 104, that before such person's invention thereof the invention was made by such other inventor and not abandoned, suppressed, or concealed, or (2) before such person's invention thereof, the invention was made in this country by another inventor who had not abandoned, suppressed, or concealed it. In determining priority of invention under thissubsection, there shall be considered not only the respective dates of conception and reduction to practice of the invention, but also the reasonable diligence of one who was first to conceive and last to reduce to practice, from a time prior to conception by the other.

Patents differ from copyright in that only one person has the right to the novel product or process. Under copyright law two different persons may have come with the same idea at the same time and have
About the Author
California Attorney Arnold Hernandez Represents Individuals and Businesses in Civil Litigation. Click here for part two on patent laws.
California Attorney Arnold Hernandez
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