Frequently Asked Questions About Patents

Carson Patents frequently asked questions (FAQ) about patents, patenting, and how to seek patent protection for your invention. These are our top 15 most often asked questions. Scroll through our patenting questions. Hire us to help you protect your idea or invention with a patent.

What Is A Patent?

Brief Answer To What Is A Patent

A patent is the legal right to control the making, using, and selling of the invention for a limited time. In the United States, utility and design patents are issued for different lengths of time. Utility and plant patents are issued for 20 years from the filing date. Design patents are issued for 15 years date of issuance. Contact Carson Patents to apply for a patent for your invention or idea. Read more in our blog article what is a patent.

How Long Does It Take To Get
A Patent Issued?

How Long Does It Take To Get A Patent

This is one our top 5 faq’s. In accordance with the USPTO, it currently takes anywhere from 22 to 30 months to get patent issued. On average, the USPTO has a current wait time of about 24 months. Many factors can affect how long it takes to file and prosecute a patent application in order for an application to have a patent issued. The type of patent application, provisional or complete, will determine how quickly the patent application is examined. A provisional patent application will be reviewed quicker than a non-provisional patent application because it does not require as much laborious work to be completed since the invention will only be patent pending for 12 months. Read more about how long it takes to get a patent.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Patent?

How Much Does A Patent Cost

This is one our top 5 faq’s. If you qualify for USPTO Micro Entity Status, estimate $5-8k for a utility patent. There are five times, or events, in pursuing a patent for a utility invention that will incur cost. Additionally there are other events that happen which can add cost. Our patent cost article answers a few more questions about the cost to get a patent.

What Does A Patent Practitioner Do?

Uspto Registered Patent Practitioner

A patent practitioner provides patent services. They help inventors (or applicants) seek patent protection for their inventions. There are two stages of patent services involved in seeking patent protection for your invention. The first stage is filing for patent pending status. The second stage is patent prosecution. Patent prosecution is all the follow up correspondence with the patent office. Contact Carson Patents for patent help. Read more about patent practitioners. Always verify that any patent practitioner that you work with is licensed by the USPTO, check patent practitioner credentials at the USPTO.

When It Comes To Patents, What
Does Confidentiality Mean?

When It Comes To Patents What Does Confidentiality Mean

This is one our top 5 faq’s. Disclosures to patent practitioners are confidential. You may need or want a non-disclosure agreement with anyone else. Disclosures to patent agents are covered by client controlled privilege. Information disclosed cannot be used or shared without your permission. Patent agents hold the same basic professional liability insurance as that held by attorneys, just limited to the practice of patent prosecution. Read more about patent confidentiality. Always verify that any patent practitioner that you work with is licensed by the USPTO, check patent practitioner credentials at the USPTO.

What Is Patentability Criteria?

Criteria For Patentability

The patentability criteria is a combination of two evaluations. The first is a determination of whether an idea or invention meets the criteria to be patentable. In other words, is the invention patent eligible subject matter? The second evaluation is a three part determination. Firstly, whether it exists in the prior art. Secondly, whether it conflicts with another invention or idea. And, thirdly, whether it would be obvious to try for a person having ordinary skill in the art. Contact us for a prior art search and patentability study for your idea or invention. Read more in our blog post about what does patentability mean.

What Are Patent Claims?

Claims Are What A Patent Protects

Patent Claims define the scope of patent protection. The claims define the subject matter of patent protection sought. The language of the claims determines what is patented. Claims must be properly written and supported by the specification. Carson Patents includes claim writing in our patent application writing patenting service. Also, we offer claim amendment and claim revision services as part of our patent prosecution services. Contact us for patent help within claims. Read more about patent claims. Read more about revising existing claims.

What Is Patent Prosecution?

Communicating With The Patent Office

Patent prosecution is representing your invention before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeking an allowance and issue. Patent prosecution is the patent services needed to either [1] represent a patent application through examination, [2] appeal an examination decision, or [3] conduct opposition, reissue, or reexamination proceedings. Patent prosecution happens after a patent is pending and it occurs both before and after a patent is granted. Contact Carson Patents for help. Read more about this faq on our patent prosecution page.

What Is A PPA –
Provisional Patent Application?

What Is A Provisional Patent Application

A provisional patent application allows you to file an application without formal patent claim(s), oath/declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement. The provisional application is only pending for one year. It is essentially a place holder for a later non-provisional application. Contact us to start the steps to patent for your invention. Read more about provisional patent applications. Read about other ways to get patent pending.

What Is The Difference Between
A Utility Patent And A Design Patent?

Utility Patents Compared To Design Patents

utility patent protects the way an article is used and works (35 U.S.C. 101). A design patent protects the way an article looks (35 U.S.C. 171). You can get both design and utility patents for an article if invention resides both in its utility and ornamental appearance. Utility and design patents afford legally separate protection. But frequently, the utility and design of a product are not easily separable. Products may possess both functional and ornamental characteristics.

What Is New Matter In A Patent

New Matter Is Anything Not Present In The Original Application

New Matter is content not found in either the written description or drawings, involving a departure from or an addition to the original disclosure. It cannot be added to the application even if supported by a supplemental oath or declaration. New matter can be shown or claimed only in a separate application. Inventors with office actions often ask this question. Contact Carson Patents for help. Read more about new matter. A most important faq.

What Are Patent Drawings?

Patent Figures Show The Invention

Drawings are the figures, diagrams, flowcharts, and charts necessary for a patent application. Patent applications require drawings if the invention “admits of illustration.” Both U.S. and International (PCT) Patent Applications typically require good, properly formatted drawings. Carson Patents includes patent drawings in our patent application writing services. Read more about patent drawings.

What Are Patent Flowcharts?

Patent Figures Include Flowcharts

Flowcharts are a particular kind of patent figure. Flowcharts show procedure, process flow, or process steps. They are useful in many types of patent applications. Flowcharts are recommended and frequently useful in software patentingCarson Patents includes patent flowcharts in our patent application writing services.

What Does “Novelty” Mean?

What Is Novelty

In order for an invention to be patentable, it must be new. This means it must not already exist in the world. In other words, novelty means an invention is not found in the prior art. Contact Carson Patents to start the steps to patent with a prior art search and patentability study for your invention. Read more about novelty. A most important faq.

What Does “Non-obvious” Mean?

The Opposite Of Obvious

In order for an invention to be patentable, it must be non-obvious. An invention is obvious if there are any number of prior art references that, when combined, would result in essentially the claimed invention. In other words, an invention is non-obvious when it is not disclosed in the prior art. Contact Carson Patents to start the steps to patent with a prior art search and patentability study for your invention. Read more about non-obviousness. A most important faq.

Frequently Asked Questions About Trademarks

What Is A Trademark?

Trademarks Protect Brands

 A trademark is a type of intellectual property typically in the form of a recognizable name, symbol, logo, slogan, word, phrase, or combination that is used in connection with a good or service. Trademarks are used to legally distinguish brands from their competitors while recognizing the company’s ownership of the brand. Trademarks are denoted by ® and ™ symbols. It is not necessary to register a trademark, although registering a trademark with the USPTO will provide nationwide legal protections. If a trademark is registered, it must be renewed every 10 years. Read more information about what is a trademark.

How Long Does It Take To Get A

How Long To Get A Trademark

 Typically the process to register a trademark is about 12 to 18 months. On average, it takes the USPTO 4 to 6 months to review the trademark application. Responding to office actions can take up to 6 months, but if there are no issues with the application, this time period can be deducted from the 18 month average. The publication period in the Official Gazette lasts 3 months before the USPTO issues the certificate of registration, which usually takes about 2 to 3 months. Find out more about our 4 steps to trademark.

How Much Does It Cost To Get a

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Trademark

 The trademark registration process cost depends on several factors of the application such as the number and kind of marks, as well as the number of classes of use the owner wants protected. On average, filing a trademark registration application costs around $250 to $350 per class. This does not include attorney fees. Find more information on the trademark costs.

What Is The Difference Between A
Trademark And A Copyright?

Trademark Vs Copyright

Both trademarks and copyrights are types of intellectual property, but they offer different forms of protection. A trademark or service mark protects the identification of the source of goods and services such as a name, logo, or slogan. A copyright protects original works. Each form of intellectual property is registered differently. A trademark is registered at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) while a copyright is registered at the U.S. Copyright Office. A registered trademark can be kept active forever as long as it is renewed every 10 years. Copyright protection longevity depends on multiple factors but as a general rule, copyright protection for works created after January 1, 1978, lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. Works first published prior to 1978 have a different set of more complex factors. There is no need to renew a copyright registration. Visit our trademark services and copyright services pages for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions About Copyrights

What Is A Copyright?

Copyrights Protect Original Works

 A copyright is a type of intellectual property protection that covers tangible original works of authorship. Original works can include anything from paintings, photographs, illustrations, writing (books/poems), to audio recordings, computer programs, and more. For a work to be able to be copyrighted, it must contain a degree of creativity. Some “works” that are not considered creative would be titles, names, short phrases (slogans), coloring, lettering, ingredient/content lists, and more. Copyright law provides creators with the exclusive right to authorize others to use their work and protects them from others using their work without authorization. Original works created after 1978 are protected by copyright laws until 70 years after the death of the creator or the last co-creator. Find out more on our what is a copyright page.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Copyright?

Time To Copyright

 The copyright registration process is quite simple and quick. Copyright registration is effective the same day the application is filed and received by the U.S. Copyright Office, along with the associated fees. On average, it currently takes only about 3 months to process a copyright registration. That is, if the applicant is well prepared and gets approved on the first try. If denied in the initial application, reconsideration can be requested. This will result in weeks or months being added to the time frame in order to again complete each step of the copyright registration process. Find more information on our 3 steps to copyright.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Copyright?

Copyright Costs

 Because registering for a copyright is a straightforward process, it is not very expensive to do oneself. Registering for a copyright can get expensive when hiring legal assistance to complete the process. The cost to register an original work with the U.S. Copyright Office oneself would amount to between $45 to $65. If you want to accelerate the process of copyright registration, there is a fee from the USPTO that allows you to do so. Find more information on the
copyright costs page.

Still have a question? Schedule a free consultation with Patent Attorney Greg Carson.