|Patents offer inventors exclusive rights
to their creations, providing incentives for research and
development. They are also an important means of sharing know-how.
Patent documents describe new aspects of a technology and can be
read by anyone. Please visit http://www.uspto.gov/
for the latest information.
- A document
protecting the rights of the inventor.
- A repository
of useful technical information for the public.
- A patent
gives an inventor the right to exclude others from making,
using or selling his or her invention for a maximum of 20
- A profit
can be made from a patent by selling it, licensing it or using
it as an asset to negotiate funding.
exchange, you are expected to provide a full description of the
invention so that everyone can benefit from this advance in technology
- The Patent
Office will publish your application 18 months after it is
may then read about, but may not make, use or sell your patented
invention without your permission.
kinds of inventions qualify?
must be new (first in the world); be useful (functional and
operative); show inventive ingenuity and not be obvious to someone
skilled in that area. It can be a product, a composition, an
apparatus, a process or an improvement on any of these.
do inventors obtain patents?
must be filed with the Patent Office.
requires broad knowledge of patent law and Patent Office practice.
- A trained
patent agent can save you from the many headaches that can
arise from a poorly drafted patent that inadequately protects
not mandatory, hiring an agent is highly recommended; a list
ofregistered patent agents is available from the Patent Office.
should inventors apply?
are given to the first inventor to file an application. It's
wise to file as soon as possible after completing an invention,
in case someone else is on a similar track; however, filing
too soon, while still developing an invention, may mean omitting
essential features from the application.
Public disclosure of an invention before filing will make
it impossible to obtain a valid patent. One should NOT
advertise, display or publish information on an invention too soon.