Familiarize Yourself with the Patent Process

Turning an idea into something intrinsic.

Familiarize Yourself with the Patent Process
Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash

Having an invention idea is a good start, but it doesn’t mean that it necessarily deserves a patent. If you have drafted & developed something that can truly revolutionize the world, then you may consider taking it to the next step.

A patent is a title of ownership granted by the Government of a country, which gives its owner the right to prevent others from manufacturing, selling, or commercially using the protected invention for a certain time. In return for obtaining the exclusive right, the inventor has the obligation to disclose the patented invention to the public, so that society can benefit from the new knowledge and technological development is encouraged.

Whatever the object of the patent is, it must comply with the so-called three patentability requirements:

Novelty: Search the USPTO database to see if it’s a novel idea. This is the largest database in the world, so you are more likely to hit something with generic keywords.

Inventive activity: It should not be obvious to an expert in the field, and does not advance and already well-known method.

Industrial application: It must have an obviously practical utility.

Also, the invention must comply with the requirements of what is considered patentable subject matter based on the regulations of the country where the application is made.

These exclusive rights are not absolute and reasons of general interest exist as matters of security, health or to avoid anticompetitive practices, that can endorse the exploitation of a patented invention without the authorization of their holder; this whenever it is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions established legally, which will always include the payment of an economic compensation for the holder of the patent.

Also, the holder has the possibility of exploiting economically the innovation granting an authorization or license to third parties so that they use the invention in exchange for a price and based on the agreed conditions.

The holder of the patent, with respect to the patented product or procedure, has the right to exclude third parties from its manufacture, use, distribution, sale or introduction into commerce without the authorization of its legitimate holder.

The duration of a patent is usually 20 years from the date of filing of the application. To keep it in force it is necessary to pay annual fees from the date it is granted.

Patenting a Utility Model

The Utility Model protects inventions with a lower inventive range than those protected by invention patents, and consists of giving an object a configuration or structure from which some utility or practical advantage is derived. In some countries, Utility Models are also called innovation patents or utility innovations.

The device, instrument or tool protectable by the Utility Model is characterized by its practicality and not by its aesthetics as in the case of industrial design.

The scope of protection of a Utility Model is similar to that conferred by the Patent. The duration of protection of the Utility Model ranges up to 10 years from the filing of the application depending on the country. In order for an invention to be patentable as a utility model it must meet two of the patentability requirements, namely Novelty and Industrial Application.

For the maintenance of the right is required to pay annual fees.

Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits

Integrated circuits are tiny electrical circuits that perform electronic functions. They have become indispensable elements in the construction of modern electronic devices, equipment and products such as calculators, telephones, clocks, video cameras, television and sound equipment, among others.

If you're invent is an electronic device, you will want to include such scematics when filing for a patent.

Conditions for Protection

In order to achieve protection, the design corresponding to the Layout-Design must be considered Original. That is to say, it must be the result of sufficient intellectual effort, not being a copy or reproduction of a previous scheme, nor common or usual in the integrated circuit manufacturing industry.

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Jon G

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