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.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now

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.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now
Difference Between Patent Approved & Patent Licensed?

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.

What If a Full Patent Is Not Approved and You Have a Provisional Patent?

In the United States, intellectual property rights are protected by the Constitution. Creative individuals are allowed the exclusive right to control and profit from their works, even if only for a specified amount of time. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) awards patents to inventors upon making a finding that an invention is unique and non-obvious. The patent application process is complicated and expensive, and it typically takes the PTO more than a year to complete its investigation and make a decision. One of the options that an inventor has to control the process is to submit a provisional patent application in lieu of a full non-provisional application; however, the provisional patent application process can mislead the filer into thinking he has existing rights that can be protected.

How to Write a Provisional Patent Application

Filing a formal patent application is expensive and time-consuming, and usually requires the services of an experienced patent attorney. You can, however, file a provisional patent application with much less effort and without retaining an attorney. Filing a provisional patent application will put your invention in "patent pending" status for 12 months, preventing anyone else from filing for patent protection for the same invention. This 12-month window will buy you time to file a formal application.

Start here. LegalZoom. Legal help is here. LLCs. Corporations. Patents. Attorney help.

Related articles

What Happens When Someone Tries to Use a Patent That Has Expired?

While in effect, a patent offers the holder exclusive rights to his invention. But a patent can expire for two reasons: ...

Are Company Slogans Copyrighted?

Federal copyright law grants exclusive rights to the use of “original works of authorship,” whether or not they are ...

The Process of Opening an Estate

Although the process of opening an estate varies from state to state, many aspects of the process are essentially the ...

How to Fill Out a Provisional Patent Application

Filing a provisional patent application allows you to establish temporary patent protection without starting the patent ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED