Patent Law

Patent Law Pittsburgh, PA

Patent LawIf you have developed a product that you feel may be a money-maker, it is best to seek a patent for your idea so that any profit from its marketing will be yours. Patents are good for 20 years and prohibit anyone from using your product in the United States.

It is always possible that someone else has patented your invention. Patent records are kept at the United States Patent and trademark Office in Alexandria VA. There are online resources as well as microfilm.

There are three types of patents awarded in the United States:

  • Utility patents which protect new machines.
  • Plant patents protect new species of plants reproduced asexually.
  • Design patents protect new designs for a product.

Patents apply only to ideas, and therefore differ from copyrights and trademarks. The terms patent pending and patent applied for mean that an application for a patent has been applied for.

There are two ways to apply for a patent: non-provisional which initiates the process, and provisional, which only establishes that there has been a filing. Before filing an application it is highly recommended that a patent attorney be consulted.

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