Individuals and corporations generally seek patent protection for any number of reasons.
Many companies have a long and productive history of patenting inventions, devices and processes.
Others have adopted this approach only after their best ideas and innovations have been introduced to the marketplace by their competitors.
Still others have a much more heightened interest in filing patents – because of recent international interest in merchandising and distributing products in foreign markets.
Companies have also realized that patent protection can provide a sound step toward accessing additional capital.
Recent changes in patent law – both nationally and internationally – have resulted in companies and individuals being able to obtain patent pending status much more easily. These new developments have solved a number of perplexing and expensive challenges facing new and established inventors.
A provisional patent application provides the applicant with a much more streamlined process which can yield patent pending status for a period of one year upon submission.
The utility patent is the most common type of patent and is directed to the structure – not merely the function – of the invention or process. To issue, utility patents must satisfy three criteria – by being:
- new or having a new combination of old elements,
- useful and
Finally, a patent application is not an end in and of itself but marks the beginning of a legal process. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office examines all non-provisional patent applications very closely. Patent applications are routinely rejected by Examiners for various reasons in formal determinations called “Office Actions.” A response to an office action during the prosecution of a patent application is required to overcome whatever rejections are made.
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