Patent law can be quite confusing. In fact, many people are confused about what a patent actually is. A patent is a legal right to disallow others from using new technology, processes or machinery you have created. Doing so may allow you special commercial advantages over others, including the ability to produce a product no one can. Receiving a patent on new technology allows you to continue to develop without the fear of someone else encroaching on your invention for financial gain. Patents are public record, which help inventors defend their rights to a concept, process or material.
Patent law intends to help protect the intellectual property of inventors and scientists. By allowing those who obtain a patent for new technology the sole right to use it, patent law helps financially incentivize invention and research. During the time when a patent is active, an owner of a patent can potentially profit off the new technology, while others cannot. Of course, ensuring that your patent is respected often requires legal work. Many other companies may covet your patent and the technology it represents. You may have to work with an experienced patent lawyer to protect your invention.
Even Applying for a Patent in Miami Can Be Difficult
In order to have the protection of a patent in Miami, or anywhere else in the US, you have to file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. They review your patent to determine if what you have created meets certain criteria. Specifically, a patent can only be obtained for a new machine, component of manufacturing, process, or composition of matter. The object or process being patented must be useful and also non-obvious, in addition to being new. Once an inventor has been granted patent rights to new technology, no one else may duplicate it, import or export it, or sell it or something made with it to others.
Getting your patent approved can be a difficult task. Your application for a patent should be clear enough to be understood by those working in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Extra precautions are taken when dealing with Foreign patents and are handled differently by our office. It should also make it obvious that whatever you’re patenting does not currently exist and is not currently protected under an existing patent. If you are interested in science, technology or engineering, you may not be able to accurately adhere to bureaucratic processes. Working with an experienced attorney or patent law firm, like Livingston & Loeffler, may make the process of applying simpler for you.
When you receive a patent, it doesn’t last into perpetuity. That wouldn’t really support free commerce. Instead, your patent gives you sole rights to your technology for a period of twenty years. When that time is up, your technology becomes public domain, meaning everyone else is able to use it, however they see fit. That twenty years, however, should be more than enough to recoup the financial investment in your invention, as well as the not insubstantial amount (often $10,000 or more) spent to obtain your patent.
Protecting Your Patent Rights Takes Work
Just receiving a patent doesn’t guarantee that it will be respected or that you will benefit financially from your inventions. One only has to look to Nicola Tesla to see a prime example of an innovator who could not defend his patent rights or profit off of his inventions. Despite providing the basis for much of modern technology and obtaining patents for his work, Tesla did not profit from his work as much as many others did. Ruthless businesses and individuals would happily profit off the patented technology that you have spent months or years developing. You have to be willing and able to defend your patent.
Working with a law firm that understands patent law is critical to your ability to protect your patent rights as an inventor or as a business that purchased a patent from its inventor. A legal practice with experience in patent law, like Livingston & Loeffler, can help you determine if your patent is being violated and what your options for recourse may be. Many times, enforcing a patent is a protracted process that can take weeks or months to complete.
Failing to take action, however, could result in the use of your new technology by others for profit. That will directly impact your ability to profit off of your discovery. Obtaining a patent and protecting your right to your new technology are complex processes that will likely require support of an attorney who understands patent law. If you have filed or are about to file for a patent, you should speak with a patent attorney from Livingston & Loeffler today.