A Patent allows an inventor to profit from his invention by providing protection for the features and processes that make things work. A Patent protects a product or a process that has practical application. In general, Patents protect something if it is how the thing works that makes it valuable. Products include anything under the sun that is made by man including machines, apparatus, tools, and compositions of matter. A process may be any process having a practical application. A Patent gives you the right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling, and importing your invention without your permission. In other words, a Patent excludes others from making, using and selling the product or process that is claimed in the Patent, in the country in which the patent is issued, for a certain period of time. In Canada, a Patent lasts 20 years from the date of its application, for applications filed since 1 October 1989. In the United States, a Patent also lasts for 20 years from the date of the first filed U.S. application; however, for applications filed since 29 May 2000, the term may be extended based on any delays in issuance of the Patent caused by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A patent must be first drafted, then filed, prosecuted, issued and then maintained in each country in which protection is desired. The existence of your Patent may be enough on its own to stop others from trying to exploit your invention. If it does not, it gives you the right to commence legal action against those attempting to exploit your invention and claim damages.
- Right to sell the invention and all its intellectual property rights
- Right to license the invention to someone else while retaining all the intellectual property rights
- Right to discuss the invention with others in order to set up a business to carry out the invention
One of the most important steps in deciding whether one should invest their money into a patent application is to carry out a patent search. The invention subject to patent is novel if other people have no knowledge of such an invention. It is essential to check the availability of the patent in order to save your time and money. There is no point in filling your application if your invention is not novel or has already been patented. At Opara Law PC we search the databases of both the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) as well as the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Another important reason one should do a patent search is to gain knowledge of other similar patents which would help us at Opara Law PC to draft the best possible application. Drafting a patent application is a complex process that consists of specifications, claims, drawings and diagrams. The complexity of your invention will determine the length of time needed to prepare your application. This can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Once the application is completed, it is filed in the proper patent office where it is reviewed to see if it meets all the requirements. Any discrepancies with your application will be taken care of by an agent at Opara Law PC. He or she will be responsible for responding to inquiries made by the Patent Office, as well as making any amendments to your application as needed.
Now that you have the necessary information that you need, the first step to getting your patent off the ground is to call Opara Law PC. We have experienced agents ready to take care of your needs and ensure your patent is handled diligently and in confidence. Book a consultation today, remember time is of essence.
Opara Law PC prepares, files, prosecutes and litigates patents directly in Canada and US, and throughout the world through a network of associates. To obtain our quote for Patents, please click here
For an introduction to some of the patent services available on the web, the following websites may be useful:
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): www.uspto.gov
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO): strategis.ic.gc.ca