With innovation on the rise in all fields, from design to technology to medicine, patent attorneys are become more and more essential than ever before. In case of a dispute during the patent process or a violation of a patent, patent attorneys will most always be able to support the holder of the patent (or patents) and provide a degree of patent protection. Patent attorneys should be skilled at what they do, well versed in patent law and able to take care of any situations that may arise regarding patent law.
The number of patents in the United States alone is consistently on the rise. In 2016 alone, more than three hundred thousand patents were issued by the USPTO. But patents are certainly not new – in fact, the first patent law was enacted full centuries ago, in 1790. But patent law has grown in many ways, and the patent office of the United States now receives up to six times as many requests for patents than it did in the 1980’s, just a few short decades ago.
There are a number of reasons to get a patent, but a big one is to protect intellectual property. There are a number of ways to do this, ranging from applying for a patent to getting a trade mark or a copyright. Even trade secrets will be legally protected by patent attorneys, who seek to preserve intellectual property as much as any other kind of patented property. In many cases, ideas can be patented and protected by patent attorneys.
There are three different defined types of patents currently in circulation today, as defined by the USPTO. The first is that of the utility patent. Design patents are another commonly applied for type of patent and plant patents are also often frequently applied for and issued by the USPTO. However, there are a certain number of specific criteria that must be met in order for your proposal and application for a patent to be accepted. The first critera that must be met is that of usefulness. The thing you are patenting must provide a use to society as a whole or even a specific demographic. Another criteria that is necessary to meet before having a patent approved is novelty. It has to be a new idea. The final main criteria for patent approval is non-obviousness. Though all three types of patents are prevalent in the United States alone, a plant patent is by and far the most popular type of patent that is issued, making up nearly ninety percent of all registered and cataloged patent documents. Design patents are also common, however, and can even include things like creating a new soda packaging design. It is important to remember that patents do not last forever. Design patents, for instance will last less than fifteen years (fourteen years) while utility patents are good for as many as twenty years before they are in need of renewal.
Unfortunately, patent infringement is not at all uncommon, with more than four thousand and five hundred patent infringements in just one year. This is when patent attorneys become beneficial and very useful. In fact, hiring a patent lawyer is highly recommended if you need to contend with patent infringement on a patent that is in your name. Patent infringement is too often gotten away with, but competent patent attorneys can make that less and less of an unfortunate reality.