The process of applying for a patent can be complex. Getting a patent attorney to assist you in your patent filing can make the process less intimidating.

In this article, we’ve provided information that will help you understand how patents work to protect your intellectual property and how an intellectual property lawyer can help you in this process.

To start, let us first define what a patent is and how it works.

What is a Patent?

what is a patentA patent gives inventors exclusive rights to their inventions for a limited period. In exchange for public disclosure of an invention, you get the legal right to exclude others from using, selling, or making the invention.

A patent protects your intellectual property. Once an application for a patent is submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for evaluation, your invention can be marked as “patent pending.” This status gives you priority over others who may later try to implement the same invention. When your application issues as a patent, you can sue for infringement.

If you have questions about intellectual property, you can find an attorney specializing in IP law at War IP Law, PLLC. Call us today and let one of our patent lawyers help you.

How To Apply for Patent

The USPTO has provided steps that you need to follow when filing a patent application. After you file a patent application, it will be examined by a USPTO attorney. Your invention will be protected from that point on unless your patent is rejected.

  • Prior Art – when you file a patent in the patent office, an examiner will review your disclosure in comparison with “prior art.” Prior art is any publicly available evidence that your invention is already known or obvious. If your invention is similar to the prior art, your application will not issue as a patent.
  • Novelty – to acquire a patent, your invention must both be novel and nonobvious. The patent examiner must have a clear comprehension of what your invention can do and how it is different from the prior art.
  • Enablement Requirement – For an application to be complete the invention must be enabled. What this means is that the disclosure must explain enough about the invention so that someone skilled in the art can both make and use the invention.

Maintaining Patents

Patents expire and they must be renewed by paying maintenance fees after 3.5 years, 7.5 years, and 11.5 years. You can pay the fees 6 months earlier, but if your patent expires your invention will be unprotected unless your patent is reinstated.

If you need help in renewing your patent, reach out to our experienced IP lawyers today and let us help you with the legal services you need.

Patent Protection Overseas

Depending on your invention and the scope of your market, you might need to apply for patent protection in international markets.

A U.S. patent can only protect you within the U.S. and its territories, but it can’t protect your invention in foreign countries. For example, you have to apply for a Canadian patent if your market includes Canada, an Indian patent if your market includes India, or a European patent if your market includes Europe, etc.

Going through process to obtain an international patent can be overwhelming. If you need a patent lawyer to help, our intellectual property law firm is here to help. Contact us at War IP law.

Who Are Patent Attorneys?

There are different qualifications before a lawyer can become a patent lawyer. An attorney has to be registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office. To qualify, an attorney must have an education in a technical field, pass the state bar exam, and pass the patent bar exam.

How a Patent Attorney Can Help

Drafting a patent application can be confusing and difficult. You have to explain the technicalities in your invention while ensuring that the claims can fully protect your invention. US patent laws and regulations are complex, and drafting your own patent application is risky. It is advisable to reach out to a patent law firm to assist you.

On the other hand, you may not be ready to file a patent application yet. If so, filing a provisional patent application gives you a year to draft and file the non-provisional application. A provisional application is not examined and it lacks many of the formalities of a non-provisional application. While it doesn’t confer patent protection, it enables you to communicate the strength of your IP portfolio to investors.

If you have any questions regarding the patent application process, our lawyers at War IP Law are here to help.

Contact our Washington DC patent attorney today for a free consultation.