Obtaining a patent is a vital step for any creator or inventor of a physical invention. Obtaining a patent means ensuring your idea is patentable, meaning it’s fully developed and there’s no existing patent. You then file a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application process can be complicated, depending on the type of patent you are applying for.
Copyright vs. Trademark.
A patent provides inventors the legal right to protect their inventions for a set period, typically up to 20 years. Patents restrict others from replicating, using, or profiting from your creation without seeking your permission. A patent matters because it details how an invention is made and used. Trademark law protects your intellectual property rights. Trademarks legally protect words, phrases, designs, and marks that are specific to a product or service. Trademarks are valid as long as intellectual property is in use and the holder can defend its use.
Types of Patents.
The U.S. patent office issues three types of patents. Utility patents provide legal protection for inventors of new and useful processes, physical items, machinery, or a composition of matter. This is the most common type of patent and has a duration of 20 years from the date of filing. There are maintenance fees and surcharges on utility patent applications. Design patents protect original, new, and ornamental designs for physical products. This type of patent protects the design and look of an original and useful product for up to 15 years after the application is filed. There are no maintenance fees with design patents. Plant patents protect those who produce, discover, or invent a new type of plant that can reproduce. This type of patent lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and there are no maintenance fees.
Blue light glasses are a great example of a useful, physical item that can be protected by a patent. Anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a digital screen, from gamers to Twitch creators, quickly suffers from poor eye health. Long hours in front of a digital screen causes digital eye strain, which is characterized by dry eyes, blurry vision, tired eyes, headaches, and even fatigue.
The best way to reduce eye strain is to wear a pair of blue light glasses with a specialized coating that reduces glare. HotSpawn offers gamers a comparison of the best blue light gaming glasses that will protect your eyes when spending long hours in front of a digital device. You can find computer glasses with prescription lenses or regular lenses in a variety of different frames that feature a lifetime warranty and free returns and exchanges. Anyone who relies on digital devices for their daily activities can benefit from investing in a quality pair of blue light glasses.
All patent applicants need to run a search on the USPTO database to see if a similar invention has already been granted a patent. Applicants must present an invention that’s different from or improves upon an existing design to be patentable. Applicants must also ensure there are accurate records of the entire design and creation process. The patent application process requires the submission of specific documents and the necessary fees. You’ll need to submit drawings, descriptions, and claims about the item being considered for a patent. You as the inventor will also need to sign and submit a formal declaration of the authenticity of your invention. Once all necessary documentation and fees are submitted, the filed patent application will be reviewed and either be approved or denied.
Patent law can be complicated, and when it comes to protecting intellectual property, it’s a good idea to seek the legal advice of a patent attorney. The registered patent attorneys at Bond, Schoeneck & King have years of experience helping applicants navigate the process of applying for the right type of patent and trademark necessary to protect their intellectual property. The patent practitioners also have litigation experience in high-stakes IP cases in patent and trademark infringement and trade secret litigation.
Patent law exists to protect inventions from unauthorized use, reproduction, and profit without permission.