Patents have been around for a very long time as a way to establish something as your intellectual property, meaning that it cannot be reproduced without your express permission. In fact, they first ever came into use here in the United States as many as two hundred and twenty eight years ago, more than two full centuries and then some. Patent laws have evolved in the years that have passed by, but they are still just as important now than they were before, if not even more so. Intellectual property practice is growing, and patent laws are widespread and widely utilized in as many as twelve these industries. And within these industries, as many as half (around fifty percent) of all inventions and creations make it to the stage of receiving a patent, a high level of success by any means.
Unfortunately, the actions of people surrounding patent law is not always just, and the hiring of a patent attorney might just become necessary. Hiring a patent attorney preemptively is often recommended as well, as your new patent attorney will help you to understand things like the patent process as well as patent protection, two key things that those who have never applied for a patent before are likely to be all too unfamiliar with. And a patent lawyer or patent attorney can of course help you and be in your court if your patent is violated, something that happens more frequently than the vast majority of people realize, though to be fair the public knowledge of patents tends not to be particularly extensive.
But what can you get a patent on in the first place? Basically, any original invention that you might have come up with and created. Patents can be a assigned to a wide variety of things, a wider variety than, again, many people consciously realize. Patents are so common here in the United States that as many as half of a million (five hundred thousand) patent applications are received in just this one country over the course of a single year alone. However, not every single thing is worthy of a patent or will even qualify to go through the process of applying for a patent. To avoid this happening to you, it is very advisable to talk to a patent attorney before moving further down the path of attempting to obtain a patent for your invention. It’s also very important to know that there is a list of criteria that a potential item to be potentially patented must meet first, before the possibility of it receiving a patent ever becomes a consideration, let alone a reality. Fortunately, a patent attorney can help you to make sure that you are meeting said criteria, which will likely vary some from industry to industry.
Once you’ve been approved for a patent, consulting with your patent attorney is still likely to be more helpful than not. For instance, it’s important to understand the terms of your patent. Many people erroneously think that once an item is patented, it can never be used by someone else as their own idea again. Instead, this is far from the case, and patents and copyrights do eventually run out. How long a patent will last depends heavily on the type of patent that it is, but the vast majority of patents will be able to be renewed once they reach their expiration date. For instance, a term of twenty or so years is relatively standard when it comes to a new patent, but it is also important to understand that this timeline begins at the date that the patent was first filed, not when it was actually granted. This can be, understandably, confusing for some. Fortunately, a patent attorney, most likely the same one who walked you through the process of getting a patent in the first place, will be able to help.
Patents can be very complicated, there’s no doubt about it. But getting a patent can be a great thing to do for creators of original inventions and can help to cement their overall success.