Legal Document That Protects the Rights of an Owner's Invention

By Mary Jane Freeman

The owner of an invention can protect his right to make, use and sell his invention by obtaining a patent. Once an application is submitted and approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, it serves as proof that the owner enjoys patent rights over his invention.

The owner of an invention can protect his right to make, use and sell his invention by obtaining a patent. Once an application is submitted and approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, it serves as proof that the owner enjoys patent rights over his invention.

Patents

A patent as an intellectual property right granted to an inventor by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent prevents others from "making, using, offering for sale, or selling" the patent holder's invention for a certain period of time. Patents come in three forms: utility patents, design patents and plant patents.

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Proof of Patent

To obtain a patent, an inventor must apply for one. Applications may be submitted by mail or online to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO publishes most patent applications, usually 18 months after the earliest effective or priority date claimed by the application. Once the USPTO grants a patent, an applicant receives patent rights for a term of 20 years, usually beginning from the date of the application. Thus, an approved patent application can serve as proof of an existing patent and ownership rights in an invention.

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What Are Patents?

References

Related articles

Ownership vs. Inventorship of a Patent

A patent grants the owner of the patent a temporary legal monopoly on a bundle of rights related to an invention, including the right to profit from it. The inventor, however, is not always the owner of a patent. Patent law provides a number of ways in which someone can obtain patent rights over technology invented by another.

Reasons for a Patent

A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. There are three types of patents available to an inventor: utility, design and plant patents. To obtain any of these patents, the inventor must fill out and submit a lengthy application along with an application fee. While patenting an invention is not mandatory, it has certain advantages.

DIY: How to File for a Non-Provisional Patent

A patent protects your right to use and profit from an invention. Many individuals and businesses retain patent attorneys or patent agents to represent them in the application process, especially if the technology is complex or litigation is likely. Absent these complicating factors, it is possible to file a patent application on your own. In the United States, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) administers the examination and approval of patent applications. A non-provisional patent is valid for the full patent term – in most cases 20 years.

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