A patent is a grant of property rights to the inventor which prevents others from making, manufacturing, selling, or using your invention. If you want to patent your idea, you should be aware that it is for a limited time. It lasts for 20 years after filing for a patent. No one will be able to sell or make your invention without your permission.
If you want to prevent others from using and manufacturing your invention, a patent protection is necessary. You can obtain it if you discover a new process, a composition of matter, machine, new improvement, etc. However, your invention must be helpful. It means that it needs to have a useful purpose and to be operative. If you, for example, invent the machine which can’t fulfill its intended purpose, you won’t be eligible for obtaining a patent. Keep in mind that you can be granted a patent for a new machine or an article of manufacture, not based on the suggestion or idea of it. You are also required to provide a complete description of your invention.
Different types of patents
The first group includes utility patents. They can be granted to a person who invents the machine, process, composition of matter, article of manufacture, or a new improvement. A process includes an act, a process, or a method, and refers to technical or industrial processes. The composition of matter includes chemical compositions, new chemical compounds, or a mixture of ingredients. Manufacture represents articles that are made, produced. Utility patents last for 17 years.
The second group includes design patents. They can be granted to any person who invents an original, new design for an article of manufacture, for a term of 14 years from the date of granting a patent. The third group includes plant patents, which can be issued to anyone who discovers or invents a new plant. If you want to protect your idea, but are not sure how, or if you have any questions regarding the process of filing for a patent, you should hire one of the intellectual property or IP lawyers. These professionals have experience in this field and can provide assistance if necessary.
Reasons for applying for a patent
The first reason why many people want to obtain one is that they don’t want anyone to steal their idea. Imagine coming up with an invention. You would surely look forward to protecting it so that no one else takes your idea and benefits from it financially. Thanks to obtaining a patent, you will avoid the experience of knowing that another person took your idea.
The second common reason for filing for a patent is to reduce or prevent competition. If you want to launch a product, you surely want to sell as many units as possible. However, if someone steals your idea, and starts producing your invention, it might have an adverse impact on your profits. Hence, if you want to prevent competition, it would be the best idea to file for a patent. You can click here for more information about this process.
Finally, some people want to file for a patent so that they can say they have one. Many individuals make a decision to patent their invention because of personal credibility, and to enjoy the privilege of having a certificate and hanging it on the wall.