Intellectual Property Guard

Intellectual Property Guard

Introduction

What Are Patents?

When someone has an idea for a new product, it is necessary to file for ownership of the idea, especially if the industry is competitive enough for someone to want to steal it. In order to be recognized as the legitimate owner of something you have invented, you will need to fill out a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (henceforth USPTO), to legally hold ownership for this invention. This right of ownership of the invention prevents other people from manufacturing the product without your consent.

According to the Patent Law, patents are granted for a period of approximately twenty years, depending on the patent. This would mean that the inventor of the product then possesses ownership of that trademark for a twenty-year period.

However, even though the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office will issue the patent to you, they do not enforce these patents. After you have been granted a patent, you must be vigilant in making sure no else illegally uses your product without their knowledge.

The purpose of this e-book is to explain in more depth what types of patents exist for you to apply for, what criteria your invention must fulfill to qualify for these patents, how to choose a patent lawyer and check their credentials, the various steps in the application process, and co-patent ownership. This e-book will also touch on appealing a patent application rejection, dealing with patent infringement as a patent owner, and filing your application based on an existing international patent treaty.

Table Of Contents

Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
What Are Patents? ………………………………………………………………………………. 6
The History of Patents ………………………………………………………………………. 7
Section 1 – General Information on Patents ……………………………………………… 11
Trademark, Copyright or Patent …………………………………………………………… 11
Types of Patents ……………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Plant Patents …………………………………………………………………………………. 12
Design Patents ………………………………………………………………………………. 16
Utility Patents…………………………………………………………………………………. 18
Business Method Patents ………………………………………………………………… 23
Section 2 – Patent Eligibility ……………………………………………………………………. 27
Who Is Eligible To Apply For A Patent …………………………………………………… 27
Why You Would Need a Patent ……………………………………………………………. 27
Protecting Yourself …………………………………………………………………………. 28
Preventing Other People …………………………………………………………………. 28
What You Can Patent ……………………………………………………………………… 29
What You Cannot Patent …………………………………………………………………. 30
Section 3 – Patent Laws ………………………………………………………………………… 31
Section 4 – The USPTO ………………………………………………………………………… 34
An Overview of Its History …………………………………………………………………… 34
The Hierarchy of the USPTO……………………………………………………………….. 34
The Role of The USPTO …………………………………………………………………….. 35
Contacting the Patent and Trademark Office ………………………………………. 36
Preparing Yourself to Navigate Through the Patent Maze ………………………… 38
Section 5 – The Patent Application Process ………………………………………………. 41
Researching Previous Patents …………………………………………………………….. 41
Obtaining the Application Form ……………………………………………………………. 44
Filling In the Form …………………………………………………………………………… 45
The Oath ………………………………………………………………………………………. 46
Drawings and Photographs………………………………………………………………. 46
Filing The Application …………………………………………………………………………. 47
Processing Of the Patent Application ……………………………………………………. 48
The Patent Application Fees ……………………………………………………………….. 50
Section 6 – When A Decision Has Been Made ………………………………………….. 51
When Your Application Is Approved ……………………………………………………… 51
If Your Application Is Rejected… ………………………………………………………….. 53
The Initial Rejection ………………………………………………………………………… 53
The Final Rejection …………………………………………………………………………. 55
The Appeals Process …………………………………………………………………………. 56
Instead Of A Patent ……………………………………………………………………………. 56
Section 7 – After the Patent Is Issued ………………………………………………………. 59
Section 8 – Consulting a Patent Lawyer …………………………………………………… 62
Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………. 62
Planning a Visit To Your New Patent Lawyer …………………………………………. 64
Reviewing the Credentials Of A Patent Lawyer ………………………………………. 66
Section 9 – Patent Expiration ………………………………………………………………….. 69
Section 10 – Patent Pending ………………………………………………………………….. 70
Section 11 – Patent Infringement …………………………………………………………….. 72
Filing a Lawsuit Against Patent Infringement ………………………………………….. 74
Getting Help Outside the Courts …………………………………………………………… 78
When Your Patent Cannot Be Enforced ………………………………………………… 79
Patent Infringement Outcomes …………………………………………………………….. 80
When You Are Accused Of Patent Infringement ……………………………………… 82
Removal of Patent Validity ………………………………………………………………….. 82
Section 12 – International Patents …………………………………………………………… 84
The Rights of Foreign Nationals When Applying For US Patents ………………. 84
The Rights of Americans When Applying For International Patents ……………. 86
Section 13 – Patent Conventions and Treaties ………………………………………….. 89
The Patent Cooperation Treaty ……………………………………………………………. 89
The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property ………………….. 90
Section 14 – Interference: Deciding the Right Patent Owner ……………………….. 92
Section 15 – Co-Patent Ownership ………………………………………………………….. 95
Section 16 – Mistakes You Cannot Afford To Make ……………………………………. 97
Section 17 – Using a Patented Component to Invent Your Own Product ………… 101
Section 18 – Marketing a Patented Invention …………………………………………… 103
Section 19 – Popular and Useful Inventions ……………………………………………. 107
Popular and Useful Inventions – Springboard For Invention ……………………. 107
Section 20 – Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………. 112