Many companies succeed because they have developed products which are superior to those of their competition, or have developed a process which enables them to make products which are less costly or of superior quality. By obtaining a patent, the company is able to exclude its competitors from making the product or using the improved process for a given length of time. A “utility” patent typically provides the exclusive right to make, use, or sell from the day the patent issues until 20 years from the date the patent application was filed.
In the United States, a patent must be applied for within one year from the date on which an invention was publicly disclosed or offered for sale. However, many countries require a patent application to be filed before there has been any disclosure of the invention. Thus, it is important to promptly pursue filing of a patent application if protection is desired.
In March of 2013, the United States will transition from a “first to invent” to a “first inventor to file” system. Thus it is more important than ever to promptly file patent applications.
Another common type of patent is a “design” patent. Rather than protecting a product or process, a design patent protects the ornamental features of a product, such as the shape of an automobile, or a lamp. Design patents last for 14 years from the date of issuance.
The patent attorneys at Bateman IP have experience in patenting a wide variety of technologies, including: audiology equipment, automotive products, baby products, biotechnology, building materials, chemical compounds, computer software, craft supplies, engines, environmental clean-up systems, electronics, games, guns, medical products, medical procedures, packaging and packaging equipment, painting supplies, pumps, scientific instruments, security equipment, sensors, speakers, sporting equipment, targets, toys, and ultrasonic arrays.