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patent law Archives

What are the requirements for drawings in a design patent?

When you submit a design patent application for your California invention, you need to include drawings. However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has very specific rules and guidelines you must follow when creating your drawing. If you fail to follow these directions, your application may be denied.

The importance of a thorough patent search

California businesses and inventors need to protect their ideas from being stolen and used by others. One way of doing this is by getting an invention patented. Although this can be a sometimes confusing and long process, a patent protects a new invention from being used by others for a certain amount of time.

Amazon is changing the retail environment with a patent

It has been big news recently in California that Amazon has purchased Whole Foods. What may not have been such breaking news is the new patent the retail giant has secured. This patent is a game changer, which is not surprising since Amazon has been working hard to change the retail environment for years. However, this is going to change the in-store shopping experience and maybe not in a way that shoppers will be happy with.

Facts about the patent ombudsman program

Applying for a patent is a complex process that requires a person to follow the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s instructions completely. For those Californians who are new to the process, filing an application can be a daunting task. It can become even more difficult if the application process has stalled for some reason or the patent has been rejected. That is why the USPTO has introduced the patent ombudsman program. This program is designed to offer assistance to filers during the application process.

What is patent assignment?

A patent is considered personal property in California, and as such, you can transfer its ownership to another person. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, this transfer of ownership is called patent assignment. You have the ability to assign ownership of part of your patent or all of it to someone else as long as it is done in writing and recorded with the USPTO within three months. This document must also be witnessed by an approved official.

What cannot be patented?

If you want to patent an invention or discovery in California, then it helps to understand what cannot be patented. The law is very specific when it comes to patents. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states that in general almost anything created by man and any processes used to create such items can be patented. However, there are exceptions, and it is important to understand them so you don’t waste time trying to get a patent for an unqualified item or process.

What does patent pending mean?

You may have seen the words “patent pending” on products you have bought in California. This is an official notice that the inventor of the product has filed a provisional patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It offers the same protections as a nonprovisional patent, but its protection is limited to a 12-month period.

What is the difference between a utility and design patent?

If you are seeking a patent in California, you will have to first decide what type of patent to pursue. While this may seem easy, the difference between a design patent and utility patent may cause you some confusion. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office defines utility patents as covering the function of an invention, whereas design patents cover the look of an invention. You must choose the correct patent type or your application could be rejected.

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