The US Patent and Trademark Office establishes the requirements for patent protection (USPTO). The invention in question must be novel, not obvious, and valuable, as well as the inventor’s disclosure of the invention to the public in exchange for patent protection. Once the invention meets these requirements, the inventor can proceed to file the patent application to protect his/her invention. After securing the patent grants, the inventor gets the right to manufacture or sell the invention for a certain number of years. In addition to that, the innovator can file an infringement case against the violators as well.
Related Article – Prior Art Search – Why it is crucial?
Requirements For Patent Protection – Types of Patents
After meeting the requirements for patent protection, it is important for an innovator to understand what type of protection he/she needs. There are basically three types of patent protection that an inventor can secure. Let’s take a look at different types of patents available to the inventor:
- Utility Patent – The utility patent is the most prevalent type of patent. This patent category covers the invention’s composition, as well as its functionality and operation. In a nutshell, a utility patent protects an invention’s process or operation. For example, if you invent a new hairdryer, you can apply for a utility patent to protect the mechanism. A utility patent has a 20-year validity period before it expires.
- Design Patent – A design patent can be applied for by the applicant. A design patent protects a product’s appearance. It does not safeguard the invention’s functionality. A design patent has a 14-year term of validity.
- Plant Patent – A plant patent is sought for discovering plant species. The requirement for getting a plant patent is that the inventor must have produced it asexually. This is the rarest type of patent protection. The validity of the Plant patent is 17 years.
Each of these types of patents has its own set of requirements and only protects certain types of inventions. It’s worth noting that an inventor can file for various sorts of patents for a given invention. For example, suppose a person discovers a novel product and desires to patent it on the basis of its function and design. In this scenario, the applicant has the option of filing for both a utility and a design patent.
How To Determine If The Invention is Patent-Worthy?
Before filing the patent application, it is important for the inventor to see if the invention is worth-patenting or not. Sometimes, there is similar technology that existed before the invention was created. The existence of a similar technology is referred to as the Prior Art.
Thus, it becomes crucial for the inventor to monitor the presence of the prior art. The discovery of the prior art can lead to the rejection of the patent. Thus, we recommend performing the prior art search before filing the patent application. This way, you can save your time, and money and eliminate the risk of future litigation.
A prior art search provides the inventor with the opportunity to work around the invention if the prior arts are discovered. Conducting a prior art search may be expensive but is really helpful in the later time.
It is not compulsory to do a patentability search, but it is a good idea to do so. You can gain an understanding of how your innovation differs from the prior arts by conducting a patentability search. A patent search establishes whether or not your invention is unique. You can use this information to see if your idea qualifies for a patent. If the examiner discovers prior arts during the examination process, it can lead to patent application rejection. Getting patent protection for your invention is not easy. It takes time, money, and effort. Thus, conducting a patent search after meeting the requirement for patent protection is crucial.
Thus, the first step towards securing your invention is to ensure that your invention meets the requirement for patent protection. The requirements include that your invention needs to be novel, should feature industrial use, and must be unknown to the general public. If any of these requirements is missing, it may lead to the rejection of the patent application. To ensure that your invention meets the required criteria, you can perform a patent search.
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Other than that, our team of professionals can help you in drafting a high-quality and error-free patent application. Since patent drawings are a crucial aspect of the patent prosecution cycle, you can rely upon our patent drawing services. We assure to deliver high-quality, meticulous, and engaging patent drawings that make your invention illustrative and explanatory.
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