You may assume that a new idea or invention is easily made your own. However, the proper application for a patent, filing, and getting approval would be something is more difficult than you may expect. The assistance of a patent lawyer is often necessary. There may be others who claim they may have had the same idea well before you, delaying the process to obtain a patent. Those people are able to battle you through the details of the patent law. With the initiation of the first patent well over two centuries ago, this is a very important process in the United States.
Definition of a Patent Lawyer
A patent attorney is specialized in patent law along with other processes like intellectual property practices and trademark law. The ownership of intellectual property is something that can be a challenge to gain, and even harder to maintain without the services of a patent attorney. Patent attorneys hold various roles internationally, considering differences in international intellectual property law. Therefore, patent lawyers sometimes need a broad knowledge of patent law and intellectual property law across many nations because of the creation, manufacturing, and distribution of products internationally.
The patent application process is not one with clear directions. It can take months or even years and often has to be renewed or updated several times. Without the assistance of a patent lawyer, it is easy to let the 12-month expiration of a single application pass, and the process needs to be started again. With the help of a patent lawyer, following the laws and regulations of the patenting process move much smoother, including the knowledge of the inventions that are capable of a patent, exactly which application forms to file and when along with the proper industry in which to patent your invention.
First Step: The Provisional Patent Application
Luckily, once the initial steps are taken, the patent application is filed and the waiting process begins, you are able to mark your product as “patent pending.” This lasts for those first 12 months while you are waiting on the approval or the need to renew the application. Throughout the process of applying for a patent, you should know that not everything meets the qualifications for a patent. Also, over half a million patent applications are submitted to the USPTO annually. This means that there is a good chance that you will have to apply more than once before getting an official answer.