Innovation, invention, and the process of translating ideas into products and services has been, and remains, a major factor in Minnesota's economic growth. Indeed, in today's world that process has even greater importance in light of national productivity and international competitiveness. The below frequently asked questions are an introduction for inventors and entrepreneurs on how
Minnesota Patent Attorney
Before beginning the process to obtain a patent, it is important to understand the distinction between a patent, trademark and copyright, to make the correct choice.
The first thing to do is determine whether or not the invention has already been patented. If not then you need to determine what type of patent you need. There are three types of patents, utility, design and plant. Utility applies to the invention or discovery of any new or useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter or improvement thereof. A design patent applies to the invention of a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Last, a plant patent applies to the invention or discovery and ability to asexually reproduce any distinct and new variety of plant.
Next you need to decide whether it is necessary to file globally or only in the U.S. The cost of filing depends on the different options along the way. It is not always necessary to hire an attorney to help you with filing your patent, however as is demonstrated above, the process can be very difficult and time consuming. Hiring an attorney who works with patents may save you a lot of time and increase your chances of securing your patent.
The United States patent system was created to help achieve various socially desirable goals. By providing an inventor with an exclusive right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time, a patent rewards an inventor for the time and effort expended in developing the invention, thereby encouraging further creative efforts. Also, most new inventions have uncertain commercial value, and the patent system provides a degree of protection from competition for a limited period of time, thus encouraging investment in new technology. Additionally, the patent system encourages inventors to make their inventions known rather than to maintain them in a state of secrecy, thereby increasing the amount of technological knowledge available to the public. Finally, the patent system helps to aid in the sale or transfer of technology both within the United States and in foreign countries, by giving a commercially tangible form to otherwise intangible ideas.
– A Guide to Intellectual Property Protection – a collaborative effort between the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development and Merchant & Gould
Patenting Internet-Related Subject Matter in MN
While it is perhaps easy to comprehend the patentability of a machine, manufacture or other piece of “hardware,” it is not as readily apparent for other less “tangible” inventions, such as software and related computer processes.
Patent’s and the Internet: Patent Infringement
A patentee obtains the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States, or importing the invention into the United States. If the invention is a process, the patentee obtains the right to exclude others from using, offering for sale, or selling throughout...
Patent Research On The Internet: Researching Patents Online
As is true for Internet research in general, the Internet is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for locating patent-related information. There are numerous reasons why a business owner may want to research patent information
Patent’s And The Internet: Patent Application Process
Even prior to the application process with the USPTO, a potential patent applicant should consider conducting a search of the prior art to help determine the likelihood of ultimately obtaining patent protection for an invention.
Patents and The Internet: Design Patents
While utility patents protect functional aspects of technology, design patents protect the appearance of an article of manufacture or material portion of the article. The standard of novelty is whether the prior art, contains an article having substantially the same appearance as viewed by an ordinary observer.
Patents and The Internet: Utility Patents
Many inventions related to the Internet have been patented. Patents relating to electrical communication, data storage and retrieval, cryptography, information processing, and system organization are a few of the many Internet-related patents. A large portion of patent issues associated with the Internet are those surrounding software patents.
Patents and The Internet: Patent System Overview
A patent is a government grant to an inventor of the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing an invention for a limited period of time.
Patents and The Internet: Introduction, Deadlines & Patentability
The global proliferation of networked computers on the Internet has spawned explosive growth in patents in the United States and worldwide. The advent of the World Wide Web, e-commerce, and their associated technological advances has resulted in a multitude of innovative ideas worthy of the title “invention.”
The Unintended Consequence of Patent Law Reform
The sweeping reforms to U.S. patent law imposed by the Smith-Leahy America Invents Act of a year ago have created a significant increase in patent litigation despite reformers intentions to cut down the number of questionable patents issued by the USPTO and to reign in the activities of "patent trolls." According to a study by
Patent and Trademark Office Agrees to Extend Comment Period for New Regulations
Largely at the bequest of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that is extending the public comment period for its proposed rules implementing the first-inventor-to-file provisions of the "America Invents Act." USPTO has reopened the comment period until November 5, 2012. You may submit comments via email to
Patent Protection – Patent Application Components
A patent application can only be filed with the Patent Office by the actual inventor or his or her representative. The basic elements of a patent application are as follows: A specification, including a claim or claims; Drawings, when necessary; An oath or declaration; and A filing fee. A specification is a written description of
Patent Protection – Not a Guarentee and Time Required
The issues of patentability and infringement are entirely separate. A patent granted by the U.S. Patent Office confers upon the owner the exclusive right to exclude others from “making, using, and selling” the patented invention. The issuance of the patent does not confer upon the owner the right to make, use, and sell the patented
Minnesota Patent Protection Attorney | Enforcement Of Your Patent Rights
A patent entitles the patent owner to prevent others from making, using or selling the patented invention within the United States for the term of the patent. While others may make the patented invention outside of the United States, they are not permitted to sell or use the patented invention within the United States. Similarly,
Patents for Minnesota Employers | MN Employee Invention Rights
Although rules of ownership applicable to copyrighted works are established by statute under the federal Copyright Act, ownership of inventions is generally governed by applicable state law, which may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Absent an agreement to the contrary, the law vests ownership of inventions in the inventing party, whether that party is an
Finding Someone To Manufacture And Distribute Your Invention
Minnesota to disclose how many individuals who have come to that service for help have made money on the invention after contracting for the service. This number is usually quite small, such as 1 out of 500 or 1,000 people. If the service refuses to provide you with this information or such information seems to
Cost to Obtain Patent Protections
The expenses associated with obtaining patent protection fall into two general categories: patent attorney fees and government fees, both of which are discussed below. Patent attorney fees include the cost of (i) drafting the patent application, (ii) completing the necessary formal documents, and (iii) drafting responses to the Examiner’s Office Actions issued during the examination
Patent Protection Practical Considerations – Experimental Use and Patent Pending
A patent will be denied if an invention was in public use or on sale more than one year prior to the date of application. However, there is an exception to this rule known as “experimental use.” The “experimental use” exception permits some public use of the product by an inventor in order to enable
Patent Protection Practical Considerations – One Year Grace Period and Confidentiality
An inventor has a grace period of one year (in the United States) in which to file a patent application. During that one year period, an inventor may place his or her invention in public use or on sale without losing his or her right to apply for U.S. patent protection. All U.S. applications filed
Patent Protection Practical Considerations – Identical Inventions Developed By Two Separate Inventors
An “interference” is a proceeding instituted in the Patent and Trademark Office when two or more inventors are claiming the same patentable invention. An interference may be declared between two or more pending applications, or between one or more pending applications and one or more unexpired patents. In the United States, the first party to