Does Your New Product Qualify For A
If you've created something unique and something
you believe to be marketable the subject of patents should be of immense
interest to you. Without a patent your idea could be stolen from you.
With a patent in place the concept, and its financial rewards, are yours
for a minimum of 17 and a maximum of 20 years.
Does your new product qualify for a patent, however? To determine this
you'll need to not only prove its uniqueness but to also make sure it's
not disqualified for category.
In the United States, for example, the issuing federal agency is the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This agency offers utility patents,
the most common form of patent, on brand new designs that can prove
usefulness. They can even patent new varieties of foliage such as
What cannot be patented, however, are new pharmaceuticals that are
determined to be unsafe, nuclear weapons, phenomena theoretical in
nature, inventions that aren't operable, non-operational changes such as
aesthetic improvements, inventions whose primary purpose would be seen
as illegal, and those considered by the patent office as "whimsical,"
i.e., serving no serious purpose. As of this writing the patent office
also refuses "immoral" patents, but a change is in the offing that will
eliminate this category from patent refusal.
One of the criteria used by the US PTO to determine uniqueness and thus
eligibility for a patent is whether someone who is considered an expert
in the field in which you're introducing a new product would consider
the product not only useful but also unique. You will, therefore, delay
your application for a patent until you've determined that the answer to
this is yes. You'll want to provide the PTO with the name or names of
experts who have attested to the usefulness and unique nature of your
This is where you must be careful. Sharing your idea prior to its patent
could result in its theft if you don't take precautions. Besides
carefully studying the credibility and ethics of those from whom you
seek a professional opinion of your new idea or product, you'll also
want to carefully document your step-by-step creation - from original
concept to completion.
Purchase a notebook. It doesn't need to be anything fancy - just a diary
sort of concept that notes each and every move made and every idea
generated that helped to bring your concept and product to fruition.
While in this day and age you're probably more prone to use a word
processing system to do so (and that's a great idea for backup since you
can not only keep it on your hard drive but save it to CD, DVD or disk)
you'll first want to record these steps, in your own handwriting, in
your notebook. Make sure you date each step as well.
The process for earning a patent from initial application averages two
years. However, while that process is pending you will still have proof
that you're the inventor by showing the PTO documentation of application
number and official date of filing. If applying online, you'll have this
information in minutes. If you apply by mail, the documentation should
arrive within eight weeks.
Once you've received your patent, you'll have protected your new product
or idea from infringement. What this means is that were anyone to try to
claim it as their own, or to duplicate it and use or sell that
duplication, you could sue for damages.
Article Source: http://www.articledashboard.com
Robert Michael is a writer for
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