Patent - The Essential Information

By Lee Keow Chin

When you have dreamed up the next best thing to hit the market, the latest craze or invention, how do you protect this idea before someone else snatches it up? Your thoughts and ideas are known as intellectual property. Did you know that you can lay claim to your future invention and let the whole world know that it is yours? This way, you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your intellectual property (at least, legally). The best course of action for protecting the idea of your invention is through applying for a patent.

A patent gives you the exclusive right to work out the kinks of an idea for a product, substance device or method that is new, useful to the public, or can be used on the industrial level. This privilege is granted by the state and once accepted, you will become a patentee. This right to create the next best thing is granted on a fixed amount of time, usually lasting up to 20 years.

What Does a Patent Do For You?

Let’s say you have come up with a formula to create a new drug that will cure the common cold. When obtaining a patent, you can prevent others from making, utilizing, selling or importing your claim. Although, you have been granted permission to market this idea as your own, it does not give you the right to start making, using or selling this new drug on your own. This is because there are other rules and laws to follow when it comes to creating an invention. For instance, with drug claims, you may receive a patent for a new drug, but you will also need regulatory approval to market it.

Obtaining a Patent

Once you have contacted the appropriate patent office, you will file a written application. The information needed to complete such a form deals with the specific details of your invention. This application will also include several other protection claim and procedure forms. In the United States, it is not required to present a working model, prototype, or example. After the patent application has been filed, the patent office will look over the forms to see if you have adhered to all of the necessary requirements. If the application passes with flying colors, a patent is granted.

Patent Laws

When it comes to protecting ideas, there are bound to be discrepancies and law breaking. To counteract these cases, national patent laws have been established, making patents a territorial state of affairs. Since a patent gives an inventor close to 20 years to get their idea up and running, others are excluded during this time period from making, using, selling or trying to import a patented idea that is not their own.

The law states that a patent is a limited piece of property, which grants the patentee certain rights. Like any other thing that is owned, a patent can be sold, licensed, assigned to another, transferred, given as a gift, or forgotten until the time period runs out.

Patent Attorneys

Since there are laws and court cases involving intellectual property and patents, this means that a certain type of defender is called upon. Some court cases become infamous, such as the more recent Blackberry patent debate. Patent attorneys work on the cases that become civil lawsuits pertaining to patent infringement. If a patent owner feels that their idea has become infringed upon, they will most likely seek monetary compensation.

A patent attorney not only helps with the ins and outs of patent law and practice, but will also act on the behalf of patentees when having their day in court. They can also assist others in obtaining necessary patents. To determine patent infringement, a host of evidence is submitted and the court will decide upon presented details to decide whether or not the case is relevant.

For more information regarding patenting an idea, please check out Patent Idea. Lee Keow is the webmaster of

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