Are you a creator who is wondering how to patent intellectual property of your own design? By now, you’ve likely read through the materials available through the United States Patent and Trademark Office and maybe even read a book or two on the subject. But if you still have questions about the potentially long and arduous patent process, then it may be time to look into working with an intellectual property rights lawyer.
Intellectual property lawyers are an invaluable source when it comes to learning how to patent intellectual property, and they can also give you information on patent protection for any design, utility, or plant patents that you may have. What can you learn from a patent attorney? Here are three things that a good lawyer should you be able to help you with when it comes to your inventions and designs:
1. Understanding the patent process: Learning how to patent intellectual property can be difficult the first time around because there are so many dates and fees that you have to be aware of. First, you have to submit your application and await its approval — a process that can take between one and two years at times. Then you have to understand the fees you’ll pay for maintenance and when those amounts are due. When the time comes to renew your patents, you may also need to consult with an attorney.
2. Fighting back against infringement: It’s an unfortunate fact, but sometimes patent infringement can occur. In fact, it’s more common than you might think. Insider theft happens to a significant portion of inventors and other intellectual property creators, and most often former trusted business partners or employees are responsible. Tech industries are especially susceptible to intellectual property infringement, but so are the chemical and finance sectors of the economy. Whether or not intellectual property theft is something you are concerned about now, it’s best to discuss the matter with an attorney as soon as possible.
3. Expanding a business to include other types of intellectual property: If you’re looking to capitalize on your ideas in other ways, you may also need to be familiar with other types of IP law, including copyrights and trademarks. Trademarks are also registered through the USPTO and protect any name brands, product names, logos, and other identifying marks for a brand. Copyrights, however, go through the U.S. Copyright Office and apply to written works.
Have more questions about protecting your intellectual property? Make sure to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Leave a comment with any general questions about IP law.