If you have invented something, you should be able to enjoy it.  The federal government provides rights to inventors to own and control their inventions through patent law.  If you believe that you have invented something that is patentable, you may choose to file your patent with the government to get protection.

You do not need a lawyer in order to apply for patent protections with the United States government.  However, a lawyer can help you assess your invention for patentability, prepare your application, and represent you in any patent infringement matters that may come up.  The government strongly advises potential applicants to seek the advice of a patent lawyer, since the process of applying for a patent can be complicated and take much longer without the proper expertise.

The experienced Fayetteville patent attorneys at Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP are used to the requirements that accompany a patent application.  We can help you avoid the pitfalls by assisting in your gathering of required documentation and preparing and filing your application, answering any of your questions along the way.  To schedule an appointment to hear more about our services, call us at (479) 439-9840.

What Do I Need to Get a Patent in Arkansas?

Patents are how property rights are conveyed to inventors so that they may protect their hard work from infringement (or theft) by others.  In order to qualify for protection, you must submit an application for patentability with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  The USPTO will examine your application for patentability.

In order to be patentable, an invention must be “new, nonobvious, and useful.”  A potential patent is not new if it is already publicly known at the time of your application for patentability.  The requirement for non-obviousness is appropriately simple: if the idea would be obvious to someone in that particular field, it is obvious and therefore not patentable.  The “usefulness” requirement does not refer to whether the invention is particularly helpful, but rather whether it does what the application claims it does.

There are innovations which may be new, nonobvious, and useful, but not patentable for other reasons.  The topic of the application must be of an appropriate subject matter for patentability.  Acceptable subject matters for patents include products, processes, software, business methods, or some kinds of new biological materials.  You will not be able to get patent protection for things like artistic creations, abstract intellectual concepts or theories, or mathematical algorithms.

The patentable invention must also not have been in use prior to the date of the application.  If, before you apply for patentability, you sell the product or use it in the course of business (i.e., for profit), this use may disqualify the product from patentability.

How To File for A Patent in Arkansas

There are several steps that you must take prior to filing your application for a patent with the USPTO.  You are allowed and encouraged to seek the counsel of a patent attorney at any point in this process, who can work with you to make sure that your application is filed quickly and appropriately.

Before you file, you should first search through the USPTO’s database of patents to make sure that you haven’t been beaten to the punch.  If you are satisfied that your invention hasn’t already been patented, you will need to determine what kind of patent you will need.  The two most common protectible types of patents are design and utility.  Design protects the way something looks, while utility protects the way in which it functions.  In some circumstances, an applicant may pursue more than one protection on a particular patent.

You then may file a provisional patent application.  The provisional application serves as a placeholder for the date on which you are claiming your patent.  This is helpful in the event that there is a dispute between the chronology of two different patent applications claiming similar inventions.

This is only temporary.  You will need to draft a formal patent application.  The USPTO requirements for an acceptable formal patent application are stringent.  The application is divided up into sections such as the abstract, background, summary, detailed description, scope, and conclusion.  The scope is what you are intending your patent to protect, or in other words, what you hope to prevent others from using without permission.

Why Should I Use an Attorney for Patent Applications in Arkansas?

An attorney can help you with the finer points of your application, which might take years to understand without the appropriate experience.  You can also benefit from the experience of attorneys from the amount of time saved by having their help in the preparation stages.

Correctly identifying the legal scope of your patent is critical in a patent application.  If your scope is too narrow, you won’t enjoy the right amount of protection.  If your scope is too broad, your application will be rejected.  The help of an attorney can be essential in all aspects of your application, but is particularly invaluable for determining the scope of your prospective patent.

If your application is rejected, you have the ability to resubmit an amended version that might satisfy the requirements that the first one failed.  However, the patent process takes a long time, and there are fees associated with your application.  Getting it right the first time as a patent novice is difficult and can take a long time.  The longer you wait to file, the more time others have to catch up, and the longer you have to wait before making money off your invention.

Our experienced Rogers patent attorneys can make sure that you get your application submitted quickly and filled out correctly, so that you may begin enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Call Today for Help with Your Patent Application in Arkansas

If you are considering filing for a patent in Arkansas, you deserve the advice and assistance of the patent attorneys at Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP.  We know what it takes to get patent applications approved and what that protection can mean for Arkansas innovators like you.  To set up your consultation, call us at (479) 439-9840.