When an inventor creates something new, it only makes sense that he would want to keep his invention for himself and retain all notoriety and monetary gain from said invention. Unfortunately, people often steal ideas and inventions and claim them as their own, producing revenue and fame for someone else’s hard work. As an inventor, this is a terrifying thought, but there are steps that you can take to prevent such incidents from occurring.
The best thing you can do to protect your intellectual property is to have it patented. A patent is protection for your creation that keeps others from greedily stealing and claiming it as their own. In the U.S., there’s an organization that distributes these patents – the USPTO, or United States Patent and Trademark Office.
There are different types of patents that the USPTO issues, depending on the intellectual property requiring the patent. The most common type of patent is the utility patent, which protects inventions meant to be used by consumers in order to make life easier. These inventions usually include machines of some sort, a specific process, or something manufactured in some way. There are also patents for ornamental designs, and even plant patents that are newly discovered or bred.
The process of obtaining a patent, however, can be lengthy and often complex. To help inventors navigate this process in a smooth manner, there are specialized attorneys, known as patent attorneys, who deal solely in obtaining patents.
Having an attorney of this sort is beneficial in many ways. As the title of “attorney” would suggest, these individuals are authorized to practice law and to represent their client in front of the USPTO. An attorney recognized by the USPTO will understand the laws, rules, and criteria in obtaining the patent. They will have advanced knowledge of the documentation involved with the patent, which can sometimes appear difficult to the average inventor. They also often have an advantage in being able to search for similar products that may already exist.
These attorneys are also often educated in certain fields that would help them understand your invention. For example, many patent attorneys are educated in engineering, which helps them connect with both their client and their client’s creation. Having a better understanding of what they are trying to patent is beneficial to all parties involved, and if it is possible to find an attorney educated in your specific field of invention, it may help substantially throughout the process.
While it is possible and fully legal to file for a patent independently, the inventor is much better equipped with a specialized attorney on their side – someone who can explain and walk with them through the process, someone who knows and understands the laws, and someone who can represent them in front of the USPTO. Although there are legal fees involved, hiring someone who can help you gain the adequate protection needed for your invention or idea is well worth the expense. While you may have created something new completely on your own, it is wise to ask for assistance in the patenting process to ensure it is done correctly.
In addition to San Francisco, we also provide patent attorney services to the following locations in California: