Inventing something new can be the highlight of a person’s career, so it is important that they do what is necessary to protect it under the law. A patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers legal protection to your intellectual property to ensure that you have a legal right to your new and non-obvious invention or discovery. There are three types of patents generally available to inventors, each with its own advantages:
- Utility patents – Patents that cover compositions of matter or machines, as well as new add-ons to existing processes. This is one of the most common patents sought by inventors.
- Design patents – Patents that cover the surface ornamentation of an object (shape or configuration).
- Plant patents – Patents for new and distinctive plants.
How to apply for a patent with the USPTO
New York inventors interested in obtaining a patent must file a provisional or non-provisional application with the USPTO, depending on how far along they are in the invention process. Provisional patents protect the idea of the invention while giving the inventor another year to conduct additional research. Once that year is up, the inventor will have to file a nonprovisional application. Once the non-provisional application is received, the USPTO will review the information provided to determine whether to award a patent.
An experienced New York patent law attorney can be extremely helpful when applying for a patent. From filing the initial application to understanding the nuances of patent law, your attorney can give you the best chance at having your patent granted by the USPTO.