A patent is a grant issued by the U.S. government that gives an inventor the right to exclude all others from making, using, or selling his or her invention. To obtain a patent, the inventor, or business for which the invention was made, must file a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The cost of filing depends on the type of patent application, and whether the applicant is a small entity, such as an inventor, small business, or non-profit. Upon issuance of the patent, the applicant pays additional issue and publication fees.
The process of getting a patent in California
Before filing a patent application, the inventor should research prior patents at the California State Library Patent and Trademark Depository Library to see if the invention is already patented. If the invention does not appear to be patented, the next step is to determine what type of application to file. There are three types of patents available:
1. Design patents. Protect ornamental designs and are effective for 14 years.
2. Utility patents. The most common patents, they protect useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, composition of matter, and improvements on these for 20 years. They require extra maintenance fees.
3. Plant patents. Protect new varieties of asexually reproduced plants and are effective for 20 years.
Once the investors determine what type of patent to apply for, they must make several additional decisions, including whether to file in the United States and/or internationally.
USPTO patent application review
Upon submission of the patent application, the USPTO examines the application and researches previous patents and technical literature to determine whether the patent should be granted. This process generally takes at least two years. It may take longer if the patent is denied and the inventor requests reconsideration or appeals the decision. The USPTO strongly advises consulting a local or Los Angeles patent attorney for help with the filing process to ensure the patent application is clear and complete at the outset, and to assist in the event of an appeal.
Contact our knowledgeable intellectual property lawyers
At Rozsa Law Group LC, we obtained over 1,000 issued United States patents, as well as many foreign patents, including complex utility and design patents. For help protecting your brainchild, contact a Los Angeles patent attorney at Rozsa Law Group LC for a free initial consultation to discuss how we can help with your patent.