Process for a patent registration in the USA
In the USA there are 3 types of patentable inventions:
1. Design Patent
A design consists of the ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, an article of manufacture. The USPTO is responsible for examine applications and grant patents on inventions. It is important to know a design patent only protects the appearance of the article and not structural nor utilitarian features.
The design patent application involves a preamble (which includes name of the applicant, title of the design and a brief description or abstract of the invention), a cross-reference to related applications, a statement regarding federally sponsored research or development, a description of the figure of the drawing, a feature description, a single claim, drawings or photographs and an executed oath or declaration.
The design patent registration process begins with filing an application. USPTO does not have an specific format. Once the application has been received, it will be assigned an application number and a filing date.
Then an examination will be done in order to check the application is fulfilled. Also it involves a prior art, which is a comparison of the claimed invention with issued patents and published materials. If the examiner does not issue any office action the claimed subject matter will be seen as patentable and the applications will be allowed. The applicant will receive a Notice of Allowance, which will include the issue fee and may also include the publication fee that must be paid by the applicant within 3 months.
Finally, the patent grant will be mailed on the issue date of the patent. The patent process from first filling to registration can take up 22 months.
2. Utility Patent
An utility patent application must be submitted in English or be accompanied by a translation in English, a statement that the translation is accurate, as well as the proper fee. It should also include a specification, including a description and a claim or claims; drawings, when necessary; an oath or declaration; and the prescribed filing, search, and examination fees, which should be arranged in the order shown below.
- Utility Patent Application Transmittal Form or Transmittal Letter
- Appropriate Fees
- Application Data Sheet
- Specification (with at least one claim which must point out and distinctly claim the subject matter that the inventor or inventors regard as the invention. The claims define the scope of the protection of the patent); the specification is a written description of the invention and of the manner and process of making and using the invention that concludes with the claims to the invention. It must be in clear, full, concise, and exact terms to enable any person skilled in the art or science to which the invention pertains to make and use the same.
- Drawings (when necessary)
- Executed Oath or Declaration; they are formal statements that must be made by the inventor in any application, including utility, design, plant or reissue applications.
- Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequence Listing (when necessary)
- Large Tables or Computer Listings (when necessary)
Maintenance fees are required after the issue date. The maintenance fees have to be paid 4, 8 and 12 years after the said date.
3. Plant Patent
The application should include the next information and each lettered items has to be preceded by the proper headings:
- Title of invention
- Cross reference to related application (if any)
- Statement regarding federally sponsored research and development
- Latin name of the genus and species of the plan claimed
- Variety denomination
- Background of the invention ( field of the invention, description of relevant prior art)
- Summary of the invention
- Brief description of the drawing
- Detailed botanical description of the plant
- Abstract of the disclosure
Also, a Plant Patent Application Declaration has to be submitted. The oath or declaration can be presented with the patent application or after filing it, but no later than the date on which the issue fee is paid. It is important to know that before an application is filed, the inventor must ensure that the plant is stable, such as the botanical description of the plant must be reasonably complete.
Once the application has been received, it will be reviewed for formalities and an application number will be assigned. Within the examination process the Agricultural Research Service, Horticultural Research Branch, Department of Agriculture will issue a report.
Its grant lasts for 20 years from the date of filing the application.
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