Patent law is an aspect of intellectual property law that gives people the opportunity to receive patents for what they have invented. If you created something that you want to protect from being copied or used by others, then it helps to understand more about intellectual property law. There are certain requirements that must apply to your invention before it can be a patient. A patent is a property right that grants a creator the legal power to stop others from selling, utilizing, or making that invention for a set period of time. Not only must creators prioritize protecting their inventions by law, but they have to make sure it is safe for public use.
Types of Patents
There are several kinds of patents, such as plant patents, design patents, and utility patents. The most common type of patent is a utility patent, which protects functional devices. A design patent protects the non-functional and aesthetic elements of a service or product. Creators can file for a provisional patent, which allows them to add a “patent pending”, which essentially warns others who may try to copy that invention. A creator can state that their invention is patent pending even if it has not been approved yet, as long as they filed for a non-provisional patent or regular application.
The patent process entails several steps. The first step is the creator has to fully complete and submit their application. Creators who want help with their patent application are encouraged to speak with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about intellectual property law. By having a legal team oversee the application process, a creator can increase their odds of approval while preventing potential unexpected issues. Additionally, before any invention can be protected by law through a patent, there are specific criteria that it must meet, including the following:
- The invention must not be obvious, meaning that no one with knowledge of that type of item would find it to be an obvious creation.
- The invention has to be useful.
- The invention has to be novel, meaning there are elements of newness.
- The invention must fall under a patentable category.
- The invention must be able to describe the creation in such detail that someone else could make it if they follow those instructions. In other words, the invention must have enablement.
Injury By Consumer Products
It is worth noting that safety of a creation must be a priority for the creator, as there is always a chance that someone who purchases the item or uses the service could be harmed. Proper testing, a thorough examination, and quality materials must be used to decrease the chances of injury to consumers. Those who have already been injured due to a patented (or patent pending) service or product can benefit from having a personal injury lawyer. As a team member at Cohen & Cohen would suggest, creators who want the best for their inventions are wise to get it protected by law and ensure it is safe for the public.