As any intellectual property practice here in the United States is likely to know, patent law is hugely important for many people – and many different inventions. Patent law and the intellectual property practice even go hand in hand, as every intellectual property practice – and the patent lawyers that every intellectual property practice employee – are committed to protected these patents and all matter of intellectual property that the typical intellectual property practice might see over the course of a day, a month, a year. After all, such matters have long been critical both here in the United States as well as in many other places all throughout the world too.
After all, patents have been used for more than 200 years, as they were first put into law as many as 228 years ago. In the years since, patent law (or variations thereof) has spread to many parts of this world and has remained an incredibly important thing here in the United States. Though patent law has changed some as the years have continued to progress, it still remains important to protect, as can be done by a patent attorney and an intellectual property practice.
To best understand patent law, it’s important to look at a number of different factors. First of all, who is getting the patents? This answer is more varied than many people realize, as it is among 12 separate industries in this country alone that patents are commonly granted. It’s important to remember, however, that not every patent application will end up becoming a patented item, a patented invention. In fact, only about half of all patent applications from even these 12 industries will make it to becoming a patent that can be protected by an intellectual property practice and patent law as a whole.
Even if you’re not a part of one of the 12 industries where patents are more common, you can still apply for a patent for invention and have it patented. In fact, the USPTO will receive as many as half of a million patent applications over the course of just one year, and many of them come from citizens and residents of this country who are in no way affiliated or linked to the aforementioned 12 industries. This does not mean, however, that everything qualifies for a patent.
In order to accurately apply for a patent, you must follow the outlined patent process of application to a T, as much as you are able to do so. It is also important to ensure that your invention meets the criteria for receiving a patent before applying for one, as this is what will allow your invention to even be considered in the first place. For many people, the patent application process can be somewhat confusing, but the guidance of a patent attorney with experience in the field can make this process pass by much more easily and with considerably less stress.
Understanding the term of a patent is another important part to understanding both patent law as well as the work that is done by the typical intellectual property practice or patent law firm here in the United States, as the two go hand in hand (as one is likely to expect). After all, many people don’t actually realize that the term of a patent begins as soon as the patent is applied for, and not when the patent is granted (if it ultimately is). In addition to this, the terms for different types of patents will be, well, different, something that not many people also realize.
For instance, the most commonly granted type of patents are likely to have a term of around two decades, a total of 20 or so years. After this term has ended, it will be necessary to be granted a new patent to take the place of the old. If a new patent is not applied for, then the invention will not longer be covered under patent laws and laws that deal with intellectual property. For many people, understanding this process is a must for having a patent.