Fayetteville, AR Patent Attorney
A patent is used to protect an individual’s or a company’s invention. The device or formula that you create will determine what type of patent you need to apply for. It is important to protect your patent from infringers and other individuals who may be able to use your invention legally if you do not exercise caution. If you or a family member needs assistance with filing a patent, you should speak with an experienced Fayetteville patent attorney.
At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, our dedicated attorneys possess extensive experience handling various types of intellectual property issues. Our firm will also aggressively pursue compensation from individuals or businesses that illegally use your invention. To schedule a confidential consultation on your case, call us at (479) 439-9840.
What is a Patent?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the government agency responsible for issuing patents to inventors and businesses. A patent is an exclusive property right given to an inventor to protect an invention that creates a new process (an act, method, industrial or technical process, etc.) for doing a certain action or a novel device that offers a solution to a problem.
According to the USPTO, a patent grant also prevents others from “making, using, offering for sale, or selling” your invention within the United States and prevents the importation of items into the United States that violate your patent. Therefore, the purpose of a patent is to exclude others from using your invention, not to grant you the right to create and use your invention.
There are three types of patents that an inventor could file for:
- Utility Patents– Utility patents are granted to a person or business that creates or discovers an innovative process, device, “article of manufacture,” or chemical formula or compound, or an improvement upon one of these categories.
- Design Patents– Design patents are given to any individual or entity that invents a “new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.”
- Plant Patents– You can apply for a plant patent if you invent or discover any unique and novel type of plant.
You can only receive a patent once you have created a machine or process, not after simply thinking of an idea or suggestion about the machine or process. An inventor must provide a thorough description of their machine or process and demonstrate how it is supposed to operate to get the patent, which means revealing the design’s secrets to the patent office and the public.
If you need to know more about the patent process, you should speak with an experienced Fayetteville intellectual property lawyer.
Requirements for a Patent
To be patentable, an invention must be novel and non-obvious. Under U.S. patent law, an invention cannot be patented if the inventor claims an invention that was previously patented, was placed in a printed publication, was already being publicly used, was being offered for sale, or was available to the public in some other way before their patent application. Additionally, if a claimed invention was already submitted to the USPTO or if the USPTO approved the invention under another inventor’s name, another inventor cannot claim the invention.
To file for a patent, an inventor’s application must include three items:
- A written document that contains a description of the invention
- A drawing of the invention, if necessary, to explain the invention
- An oath or declaration
The description of the invention must include the process required to develop and use the invention. The inventor must use clear and concise terms when describing their invention so that any individual who is skilled in that particular technological field can understand how to utilize it. If the invention is an improvement on a previous patent, the inventor must demonstrate what parts of their design improve upon the original.
If a drawing of the invention is required, it must detail every aspect of the invention that was discussed in the description. The USPTO provides specific guidelines for how a drawing should be formatted and submitted.
The oath or declaration that an inventor must submit with their application must assert that the inventor believes they are the original inventor of the claimed invention.
It is also important to note that knowledge of other forms of intellectual property may help you protect your patent. Once you are granted a patent, the USPTO will not help you discover and file suit against individuals or companies who infringe your patent rights. Therefore, seeking a lawyer with knowledge of patents and other forms of intellectual property can help you protect and promote your patent
Enforcing Your Patent
As patents grant you the right to exclude others from reproducing or using your invention, it may become necessary to enforce your patent rights against infringers. You should be sure that your patent is being infringed before you file a patent infringement lawsuit. The reason for this is that patent infringement cases often take a substantial amount of time to litigate.
To determine whether your patent is being infringed, you must examine the stated purpose of the infringer’s invention. If the infringer’s invention appears to have a similar purpose and description to your invention, you may have a valid patent claim.
Additionally, it may also be enough to prove that the infringer’s device operates in substantially the same way as your invention. Even if an infringing device improves upon certain aspects of your device, you may still prevail in an infringement claim.
If you prevail in your patent enforcement lawsuit, the federal court will typically provide you with one of two legal remedies. The court may issue an injunction that stops the infringer from continuing to use your patent, and that will award you damages for the infringement. Or, the court may determine that the infringer and patent owner can come to an agreement. This agreement usually involves the infringer paying the patent owner royalties for the use of their device.
It is also important to note that a defendant may try to claim that no infringement occurred because your patent is invalid. If the defendant can prove that your patent is invalid, you will not receive any damages, and you will lose the patent rights to your invention.
Work with Our Fayetteville, Arkansas Patent Lawyers
If you or a family member needs assistance with enforcing exclusive patent rights, you should speak with a Fayetteville, Arkansas patent lawyer. At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, our lawyers are prepared to help you protect your patent from infringement. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us at (479) 439-9840, or reach us online.