Is My Idea Patentable?

Any person who has invented or discovered a new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter may obtain a patent for it. This also includes any new or useful improvement on a past invention. Laws of nature and theories are not patentable. This requirement is outlined in title 35 of the United Stated Code, Section 101 (abbreviated as 35 U.S.C. 101). You do not need to have actually constructed or used your invention to get a patent on it. Having a good idea of how your invention is made and used is sufficient.

In general, the basic principles of patentability could be based on two questions: “Is the invention useful?” and “Is the invention new?” To determine if an invention is new, we turn to 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103. Section 102 requires that an invention must not be disclosed (or “anticipated”) by any prior patent, publication, or used prior to the time of patent filing. Section 103 requires that an invention must not be an ‘obvious’ combination of existing elements.

What constitutes an “anticipated” or “obvious” invention must be proven by the Patent Office during Patent Examination. The inventor (or an experienced Patent Attorney) may present arguments contradicting a finding of “anticipation” or “obviousness.”

You may obtain a Patentability Opinion from a Patent Attorney who will determine if your invention qualifies for patent based on the nature of its subject matter and its comparison to a Prior Art search.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal

How Can I File a Non-Provisional Patent on My Idea?

In order for an invention to be granted a patent, an inventor must disclose and claim his invention in a patent application filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Properly describing and claiming an invention in a patent application is a highly technical legal practice with a vast amount of formalities and filing requirements.

The three primary requirements for a patent application are as follows:

1. The inventor must describe how to build and use the invention in enough detail such that ‘one of ordinary skill in the field of the invention’ would be able to recreate and use the invention based on the description,
2. The inventor must disclose the best way he knows how to build and use the invention,
3. The inventor must clearly and concisely claim what he represents to be his invention, and
4. The inventor must include figures and drawings that illustrate what he claims as his invention.

The filed patent application must then undergo a stringent examination process at the USPTO. This process is tedious, long, and costly. If an inventor files for patent, but does not have the resources or understanding to comply with the examination procedure, he may risk legally abandoning the rights to his invention.

An examiner at the USPTO will determine if the invention claimed in the patent application is patentable. If the examiner rejects an application for patent, the inventor is offered opportunities to amend his claimed invention or argue against the examiner’s rejections. The examiner, in turn, reviews the amendments and/or arguments and may either maintain his rejections or allow the patent application to issue as a patent. If the examiner maintains the rejections, the inventors may continue to amend their claimed invention, argue against the rejection, or appeal the rejection to a federal Board ñthis cycle may repeat indefinitely (so long as the inventor is willing to pay the continuation fees!).

Should the examiner deem the invention to be patentable, the inventor is granted a certificate of patent and his invention is published in a formal patent document, thereby placing the public on notice of the inventor’s patent rights.

This broad overview of the patenting process excludes the many paths and intricacies in obtaining a patent. It is highly discouraged that an inventor attempt to patent his invention on his own.

To better understand if your idea qualifies for a non-provisional patent take advantage of SmartUp’s free consultations with a patent attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal

How Do I Disclose My Idea?

As you may know, our patent laws changed last year – the law now gives patent priority to the first person to file a patent application on an idea. Before, the law allowed inventors to prove the earliest date that they conceived an idea (in this way, even if the inventor wasn’t the first to file a patent application on his idea, he could submit evidence of conception dating back before the earlier patent filer). Unfortunately now, in order to preserve your patent rights, you must be the first one to the patent office with your idea.

So, for those who are serious about pursuing their idea, it is my recommendation to file at least a provisional patent application before beginning any public disclosures. The USPTO (Patent Office) created the provisional patent application for inventors to easily and quickly obtain “patent pending” status. In turn, the provisional application serves to secure their spot in line for the patent rights to their idea for 1 year. During that one year period, the Patent Office never discloses your idea to the public – it simply saves your spot in line for a full non-provisional patent application. Within that 1 year, the inventor must follow with a non-provisional application or lose his spot in line.

Provisional Applications are relatively cheap to secure. We charge from $600-$1500, depending how much support you need from us. The provisional application gives you the peace of mind to go about promoting your idea, obtain partners and investors, and give your idea a trial run – knowing that your spot in line for the patent rights are secured.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal