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“Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.”
― Albert Einstein
“I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”
― Thomas Edison
A patent is an exclusive right officially granted by a government to an inventor to make or sell an invention to the exclusion of others from making, using or selling said invention.
There are 3 types of patents:
- Design patent: This patent protects the appearance of a functional product. It lasts 14 years.
- Utility patent: The patent is for inventions that perform a useful function. A utility patent is the most common type of patent given. This patent is viable for 20 years.
- Plant patent: This is the rarest patent. It protects hybridized plant forms. The patent lasts for 20 years.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO FILING A PATENT?
- Mr. Hathaway can do an initial phone consultation at no cost to collect preliminary information on your product.
- If both in agreement, Mr. Hathaway will meet with you to discuss your needs, review any drawings and prototypes, and conduct preliminary research on the potential of obtaining a patent for your invention. This visit is billed at a very cost-effective flat fee.
- If the client and Mr. Hathaway determine to move forward, he will discuss the best strategies and procedure for obtaining patent protection.
HOW DO I FILE A PATENT IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY?
There are about 200 countries in the world with patent systems.
Many people think that there is an all encompassing international or global patent. Unfortunately there is not. Patents are territorial rights. A U.S. filed patent application is only good in the United States. A Canadian filed patent is only good in the Canada and so on. Therefore, in order to obtain international or foreign patent rights, one must file separately in each foreign country because the patent laws of each country are different.
If you wish to file any foreign patent applications claiming the filing date of your U.S. application, this must also be done prior to the one year deadline. In particular, if there has been any public disclosure of the invention since your U.S. provisional application was filed, you must foreign file before the deadline, or else you will lose your right to obtain patents in most countries outside the United States.