Not a lot of people are aware that copyright, trademarks, and patenting constitute a subject matter that is relevant to essentially everyone. Very few know about the patent process or specifics of patent rights and patent expiration. Knowledge of patent laws is crucial. To shed light on basic intellectual property and patent information, this article will focus on ten common queries related to a patent filing:

1) What is the USPTO?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is the government agency responsible for processing patent applications. According to relevant patent law, it is tasked to grant US patents, register trademarks, and enable filers to benefit from patent protection.

2) Why is filing patents necessary?

An inventor wary of competitor inventions is not the one who should go through the application process. Since virtually everything could be patentable intellectual property, applying for a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office is something you would likely have to do.

3) What can be part of a patent application?

An application may be filed with the US Patent Office for various reasons. An individual may be needing an invention patent, a design patent, a process patent, a utility patent, a filed patent, or even a plant patent. Thorough patent research is necessary for you to know which one is applicable.

4) How will I benefit if I filed a patent application?

Patent ApplicationBehind almost any patent application is the desire to gain profit. You ideally make money by monopolizing the market with the invention you disclosed. To maximize this, some get a filing date from the Patent Office and first test if there is a market for the product.

5) What are a provisional application and a non-provisional application?

Before you get a patent, you must first know which type is best for your circumstance. Generally, a successful nonprovisional patent application should be your goal. However, there are instances when one is not yet ‘ready for such. A provisional patent application, as the name suggests, is for those who will benefit from its being provisional.

6) What is the first step to a nonprovisional application?

If there is a need to disclose your invention, which can be for various reasons, have someone who can help you properly do so. After public disclosures, you will have one full year to apply for a patent. This is when you file a nonprovisional application. That is if your situation will allow.

7) When should a provisional patent be applied for instead?

If you suddenly were able to schedule meetings with potential investors or if you have come across an opportunity to go to market, you would likely have to opt for the provisional patent application process. Such is also filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

8) What if my work is still in the final stages of development?

You may have initial work done on an invention that could vary after product development and finalization. Here, the more flexible provisional type is extremely useful. You can disclose potential iterations of an initial prototype to avoid having to file a new application and start over.

9) Is getting a patent costly?

When compared to a non-provisional patent application, filing a provisional patent is generally cheaper. A competent Washington, D.C. IP attorney can help you look into your situation and help you decide if you should apply for either a provisional or nonprovisional patent. 

10) Can patent lawyers help with a PTC application?

The filing system for obtaining a patent can be quite complicated. Knowing how patent applications are filed, especially if you have never filed a patent before, can be stressful. A Washington, D.C. IP attorney from a reliable law firm can assist you with the public disclosure, initial patent registration, settling patent fees, and ensuring that the application for a patent was filed correctly.

When you file a patent, you have to make sure that the suited type is filed and that and legal document that you will be submitting comply with laws on copyrights and patents. A registered patent attorney will be able to explain to you how to file an invention disclosure form, how to file a patent application, and how to obtain a patent.

Get a hands-on patent attorney who can assist with your patent application. Contact our Washington, D.C. IP attorney at War IP Law for a free consultation.