Only the inventor, or an attorney registered to practice before the USPTO, can prepare and submit a patent application. A legal document, which contains a detailed description of what the invention is and how to make or use it, is issued to the inventor (patentee), which gives the owner of the patent the right to exclude any other person from making, using, or selling the invention covered by the patent.
The USPTO offers the following types of patent applications: 1) utility, which includes a process, a machine, manufactured products, and compounds or mixtures (such as chemical formulas); 2) design, which is a new, original and ornamental design for a manufactured article; and 3) plant inventions, which are any distinct and new variety of cultivated asexually reproduced plants. The USPTO classifies applications for utility and plant inventions into provisional and non-provisional applications. Provisional patent applications may be filed for any invention that has not been publicly disclosed for more than one year from the date of filing. Provisional patent applications do not get examined by the USPTO, but are used as a vehicle to obtain a priority date and may be useful in obtaining “patent pending” status on ideas during final stages of development, or while raising capital or test marketing. The USPTO does not use provisional and non-provisional applications for design inventions. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international agreement for filing patent applications. Although an inventor cannot obtain an international patent through the PCT, it does allow the inventor to file a single international patent application in order to simultaneously seek protection for an invention in over 125 countries worldwide.
The term of a new patent has changed over time and is currently 20 years from the earliest claimed filing date, but all three types of patents require payment of maintenance fees to keep them effective. Once the term has ended, if no extension has been filed and approved, the patented invention enters the public domain. Manufacture of a product upon which there is an existing patent is "patent infringement" which can result in a lawsuit against the infringer with substantial damages granted. Visit us at Google+ Copyright HG.org
Patent Law - United States
- Patent and Trademark Law Center
American Patent and Trademark Law Center is a professional association of independent registered patent attorneys and specializes in patent, trademark, copyright and related business and government contract matters, such as licenses. We have both in house counsel and independent counsel who we may engage for clients in need of expertise in specific patent and trademark areas.
- Patent Cooperation Treaty
The States party to this Treaty (hereinafter called "the Contracting States") constitute a Union for cooperation in the filing, searching, and examination, of applications for the protection of inventions, and for rendering special technical services. The Union shall be known as the International Patent Cooperation Union.
- Patent Law - Definition
United States patent law was established "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;" as provided in the United States Constitution. Congress implemented these protections as a first-to-invent patent legal framework. By contrast, all other national patent laws are first-to-file systems. The provisions of the law are laid out in Title 35 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) and give authority for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This system is permitted by Article One, Section 8(8) of the U.S. Constitution.
- Patent Law - Overview
Patents grant an inventor the right to exclude others from producing or using the inventor's discovery or invention for a limited period of time. U.S. patent laws were enacted by Congress under its Constitutional grant of authority to protect thediscoveries of inventors.
- Patent Law Net - Laws and Regulations
This page provides direct access to agency press releases and newsletters so that you can easily keep abreast of patent prosecution and legal developments worldwide. Additional substantive updates on important developments in patent law are provided via law firm memos and articles, and The Daily Patent Newsfeed. A regular visit to this page is a must for all patent lawyers and intellectual property managers.
- Patent Law Portal
Our goal is to provide you with the most diverse and current resource center for the professional patent law community and inventors. The Patent Law Portal is the definitive guide for patent information required by inventors and patent professionals alike.
- Trilateral Co-operation
The Trilateral Co-operation was set up in 1983 between * the European Patent Office (EPO), * the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and * the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) The majority of all patent applications filed worldwide, including PCT applications, are processed by the Trilateral Offices. Through harmonisation and development of industrial property administration and protection of industrial property rights, the Trilateral Offices strive to contribute to an increasingly efficient worldwide patent system in the 21st century.
- United States Patent Act
The U.S. Patent Act is found in Title 35 of the U.S. Code and contains the federal statutes governing patent law in the United States. This version of the Patent Act was updated in November 2005. This index contains links to each of the sections of the Patent Act found in Title 35. A word index is also available, but this index is outdated (1995). Users are encouraged to use the full text search capabilities of Bitlaw on the bottom of every page of the site. The context of the search can be restricted to the U.S. Patent Act, or to patent materials in general.
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the Federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the Executive branch "promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries." The USPTO registers trademarks based on the Commerce Clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3).
Patent Law - International
- Patent Office - Africa
A patent is an instrument that is used to protect an invention. It is used by a Patent Office to prevent inventions being copied and reproduced. The State allows inventors to secure protection for their inventions provided that the inventor discloses the details of the invention to the Patent Office. The document that describes the invention is referred to as a patent specification.
- Patent Office - Europe
The European Patent Office (EPO) provides a uniform application procedure for individual inventors and companies seeking patent protection in up to 38 European countries. It is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation and is supervised by the Administrative Council.
- Patent Office - Hong Kong
Our mission is to maintain the protection of intellectual property rights to the highest international standards, so that Hong Kong, China remains a place where creativity and talent can flourish; to provide high-quality and responsive patent, trademark and designs registration services to the public in Hong Kong, China; to promote awareness of intellectual property rights of the individual, and a respect for the rights of others.
- Patent Office - Japan
The aim of industrial property (IP) system (general term for patent, utility model, design, and trademark systems) is to contribute to the nation's industrial development through adequate protection and effective utilization of inventions and other forms of intellectual creations. To help promote science and technology, the IP system is expected to play an increasingly important role in Japan in the 21st century.
- Patent Office - UK
We are the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom (UK). These rights include: Patents, Designs, Trade marks, Copyright.
- Patent Organization - Eurasia
On March 12, 1993, in Moscow, a meeting of the heads of the Governments of the CIS countries was held, where the Agreement on measures concerning the protection of industrial property and the setting-up of the Interstate Council on the Protection of Industrial Property was signed.
- Patents - Canada
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), a Special Operating Agency (SOA) associated with Industry Canada, is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada. CIPO's areas of activity include: Patents cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter), or any new and useful improvement of an existing invention.
Organizations Related to Patent Law
- Inventors Assistance Center (IAC)
The Inventors Assistance Center (IAC) provides patent information and services to the public. The IAC is staffed by former Supervisory Patent Examiners and experienced Primary Examiners who answer general questions concerning patent examining policy and procedure.
- National Association of Patent Practitioners
The National Association of Patent Practitioners (NAPP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting patent practitioner and those working in the field of patent law in matters related to patent law, its practice and technological advances.
- Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)
The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is a JPO proposal aimed at utilising accelerated examination in each Office to ensure the timely obtaining of search and examination results so as to improve quality and promote the mutual exploitation of work results between patent offices.
Publications Related to Patent Law
- History of United States Patent Law
Public perception of the patent system has swung widely over the years from highs, such as those in the late nineteenth century when Mark Twain could write "a country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab and couldn't travel anyway but sideways or backwards" to lows in the mid twentieth century when it could be written "the only patent that is valid is one which this (the Supreme) Court has not yet been able to get its hands on." The value and philosophical basis underpinning the patent system has been a matter for debate over the years.
- Patent Law Blog
Patently-O is the most popular patent law blog and a daily read for over ten thousand patent law professionals from every major innovative corporation, IP Law Firm and world patent office.
Articles on HG.org Related to Patent Law
- Live Streaming Possible up to a Certain Limit, Rules ECJ - GermanyThe ECJ has ruled that the spreading of television programs via live streaming without the creator’s consent shall not be possible.
- Update: Twitter Finally Lands Coveted “Tweet” TrademarkJames Eliason, CEO of Twittad, indicated that Twitter’s battle for ownership of the “tweet” trademark may finally have come to an end. According to Eliason, Twitter would drop a trademark lawsuit it filed against his company that sought to nullify Twittad’s registered trademark of the word “tweet.” In return, Twittad would transfer its registered trademark of “tweet” to Twitter, he said.
- Trademark FAQ: Does a Trademark Last Indefinitely?A trademark can last indefinitely, but it will require some action of the part of its holder. In general, you must file the appropriate maintenance filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and adopt certain business practices in order to keep your trademark alive.
- Should China Overhaul Its Patent System?A European business group is calling on China to make big changes to its patent system. The European Chamber of Commerce in China argues that the current Chinese patent system hinders the country's ability to innovate and may be detrimental to foreign companies. The group released a report recommending a total of 52 changes.
- The Obama Administration Wants Your Input on IP PolicyThe Obama Administration is working to develop a new strategy for intellectual property enforcement and is asking for the public’s help.
- Is the USPTO Trying to Phase Out Paper Trademark Applications?The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allow trademark applicants to conduct much of their business electronically through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Trademark applicants can file an initial application form online, as well as submit other documents including a response to an examining attorney's Office action, a change of address, an allegation of use, and post registration maintenance documents.
- Is the U.S. Copyright Office Changing Its Stance on Jailbreaking?Every three years, the U.S. Copyright Office reconsiders exclusions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s provisions prohibiting the circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works.
- Patent FAQ: Can I Protect My Intellectual Property Overseas?Unfortunately, the rights granted by a U.S. patent or trademark can only be enforced in the United States and generally have no effect in a foreign country. Therefore, a company who wants to safeguard its intellectual property rights in other countries must take additional steps to ensure international protection.
- April Marks Important Milestone for Patent LawThe U.S. patent and Trademark Office celebrated an important milestone earlier this month. April 10 marked the anniversary of the first U.S. patent law, which was enacted on April 10, 1790.
- Are U.S. Companies the Most Innovative?U.S. firms are indeed among the most innovative. The report, published by Thompson Reuters, examined a series of patent-related metrics to come up with a list of the top 100 leaders in innovation.
- All Intellectual Property Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Intellectual Property including: copyright, domain names, licensing law, patents, trade secrets and trademark.