Protecting Your Products, Inventions, and Ideas with Patents
Patents start from the U.S. Constitution, Article I Section 8. Patents protect devices, compositions of matter, processes, machines, and the like against unauthorized duplication. Patents come in three kinds: utility, design, and plant. Familiar utility patents protect the structure, parts, and relationship of parts for devices, compositions of matter, processes, machines, and the like.
Design patents protect the appearance and ornamentation of the exterior of a device or machine. Rare plant patents protect plants discovered and asexually reproduced, that is, grown without seeds or tubers. Obtaining a U.S. patent requires application to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia. The Patent Office has strict rules and regulations that govern format and examination of patent applications.
When you do business overseas, we can assist with obtaining foreign patents for your invention. Obtaining a foreign patent may take place by direct application to the patent office of a foreign country or also by filing a Patent Cooperation Treaty application, PCT for short.
A PCT allows filing an application in English for use in multiple countries over two years later. Foreign patent filing has become expensive. Think carefully if you have enough foreign sales, a foreign factory, or other foreign connection for the project.
A deposit is required for foreign patent filing. We also assist overseas law firms and inventors with filing of applications in the U.S.
For a patent application, we encourage you to prepare drawings of the invention showing the front, the top, and the sides and a written description of the invention about its main parts and what it does differently, see Record of Invention in the Handy Document section. Call us to begin a patent application.