Many aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs may have some wonderful ideas that will not only help them make money but also help society make progress.
New technology, after all, can solve important social problems or simply make lives easier and more enjoyable.
A legal patent gives inventors several years of protection for their ideas by allowing them the exclusive right to make money off of their creations. Someone who infringes on this right may be liable to pay compensation to the inventor through a legal action.
Especially since patents will also frequently involve a deep dive in to the fields of science and engineering, applying for one is a difficult prospect involving many steps.
Indeed, patent law is so complicated that attorneys who appear before the United States Patent and Trademark Office have to have special qualifications, beyond those of other attorneys, and receive recognition from the Office.
The basic idea, though, is for inventor first to confirm that his or her invention is eligible for a patent. Among other things, doing this will require a patent search to verify that the idea is original.
After that, and after completing the necessary paperwork, the goal will be to convince one’s patent examiner, a government official reviewing the application, to grant the patent.
There can be complications, including a rejection of the application or a third-party’s challenge to the patent. These situations may require an appearance before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to resolve. This tribunal has special rules and procedures that are different even from a federal court.
Getting a patent can mean the difference between an inventor’s being able to turn a great idea into an opportunity and having to go back to the drawing board. Applying for a patent is a detailed and oftentimes complicated process.