What Exactly Is A Patent And How Do I Use It?
If you are an entrepreneur who wants to make or sell a new product, it’s important that you understand what a patent is. Incubate IP suggests that you need to ask yourself two questions:
“Is my specific invention the type that can be patented?”
“Will getting it patented help me protect the product?”
Let’s Take A Closer Look at Both These Aspects…
Is My Specific Invention the Type That Can Be Patented?
Invention is a very broad term. Your invention could be just about anything- it could be a life-saving medication, an improved recipe for a detergent or even a new toy. Patent law creates a set of rules which can govern different types of inventions people can make.
One of the primary reasons why patent law is so expansive is because it covers a range of invention categories. If you want to patent your invention, it would have to be one of these:
- Composition of Matter
Any inventions that lie outside of these categories—whether scientific discoveries, abstract mathematics or recipes—aren’t patentable.
The very first step to knowing what a patent relates to is about knowing whether your invention is patentable. However, just having this information is only one aspect of understanding what patents are.
Will Getting A Patent Help Me Protect the Product?
Even before you ask how you can patent a product, you would first have to decide whether you need a patent in the first place. It will give you a specific set of rights that you can enforce. Getting a patent can be difficult, which is why you need to make sure that you do need patent rights.
A patent gives you the right to stop anyone from using, selling, making, offering to sell or even importing your invention in the country where you own that patent. The power of patent rights depends on the details of your invention and how well you (or we) can convince the patent office that it’s (1) novel [new], (2) useful [does something], and (3) more than just an obvious variation of other known technologies.
Patents are particularly great protection for technologies that can be “reverse-engineered”—taken apart and studied. For example, if you want to patent a new shaving razor design, then the patent will be quite helpful. This is because your product has certain parts arranged in a certain configuration that a rival can study, and then mimic to create a competing razor product. Patent protection (and even pending patent protection) for your razor product discourages your rival from copying or mimicking your new products.
Hire an Expert Patent Attorney In Chicago
Sometimes, you may notice a ‘patent pending’ reference on some products. This indicates that the patent application has already been filed, but that it hasn’t been approved by the patent office yet. The ‘patent pending’ phrase warns you that an inventor is seeking a patent for their product, but it isn’t a guarantee that a patent will issue, or what its legal scope of protection will be.
Since there are so many technicalities involved in filing patents, getting them approved by patent offices, and understanding their legal scope of protection, it’s always a good idea to ask for help from a skilled patent lawyer in Chicago to help with the process. We at Incubate IP can help with all your patent-related needs—and we help with trademark, copyright, and trade secret strategies too! For more information, call us at (312) 600-5412 or send us a message via this Contact Us form and we will do our best to respond within 24 hours.