Do you have a unique idea that can bring about significant change in human life? Or perhaps you’ve worked nonstop through the night to devise a novel idea that simplifies an old procedure. You now want to promote the idea by licensing it to potential purchasers or starting your own company.
It would be a good idea to submit a patent registration application in the USA before making your creation widely known to stop someone else from profiting from your labor of love. Because the U.S. uses a “first to file” system to decide who receives a U.S. patent registration, it makes no difference who conceived the concept first.
Unique and valuable innovations are granted patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which gives the inventor a monopoly over the invention for a certain time. Here, the term “monopoly” refers to the ability of the inventors to defend their rights to manufacture, use, sell, and seek to market the patented invention inside the USA.
How to file your patent?
You must adhere to the requirements of the Patent Act to have your innovation accepted by the U.S. Patent Office (35 U.S. Code). It takes time and effort to file a patent. It necessitates a detailed investigation into the invention’s patentability, selection of the appropriate patent type, the patent application’s creation and submission, the examination process’s continuation, and maintenance of the awarded patent until its expiration. With a granted patent, you normally get a 20-year monopoly starting from the application date, during which no one else is allowed to profit from your innovation without your express consent.
Determine what kind of patent your innovation needs.
There are three categories of patentable inventions in the USA:
1. Design Patent
A design consists of the ornamental characteristics embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture. The USPTO is responsible for examining applications and granting patents on inventions. It is important to know a design patent only protects the appearance of the article and not structural or useful features.
The design patent application involves a preamble (which includes the 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 applying. USPTO does not have a 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 to check the application is fulfilled. Also, it involves a prior art, which compares the claimed invention with issued patents and published materials. If the examiner does not issue any official 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 the applicant must pay within 3 months.
Finally, the patent grant will be mailed on the patent’s issue date. The patent process, from first filling to registration, can take up to 22 months.
2. Utility Patent
A utility patent application must be submitted in English or accompanied by a translation in English, a statement that the translation is accurate, and 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 item has to be preceded by the proper headings:
- Title of Invention
- Cross-reference to the related application (if any)
- Statement regarding federally sponsored research and development
- The Latin name of the genus and species of the plane 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 complete.
Once the application has been received, it will be reviewed for formalities, and an application number will be assigned. The Agricultural Research Service, Horticultural Research Branch, and Department of Agriculture will issue a report within the examination process.
Its grant lasts for 20 years from the date of application.
Novelty grace period
The novelty grace period in the USA is 12 months before the U.S. filing date or the priority date, whichever is earlier, if:
- The disclosure was made by the inventor or by a person who obtained the information from the inventor (directly or indirectly);
The disclosure occurs after public disclosure of the same invention by the parties above.
Brealant also offer Trademark registration in the USA.