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patent law Archives

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.

Reasons you need to hire a patent attorney

Being able to secure a patent to protect a unique idea is definitely something an inventor should take advantage of. However, the process and everything involved with it can be confusing at times and may be difficult in some situations. This is where a California patent attorney can be helpful.

Multiple patents keep drug makers from releasing a generic EpiPen

As part of the research and development process, a pharmaceutical company will obtain a patent that gives it exclusive rights to manufacture, market and profit from a drug. Once the patent expires, other drug companies are able to manufacture and sell the drug under a generic name. Although the average term of a patent is approximately 20 years from the time the company files an application, there are situations where the terms of the patent can be extended or multiple patents may be granted.  

How does the patent application process work?

When you are ready to patent your product or concept, there are several steps that you must take to ensure your invention is properly protected in California and throughout the country. Before you begin the application process, you must decide whether your creation is eligible for a patent. Not only must your invention be completely new, it must meet all of the specific requirements set by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. There are several types of patents, including utility patents, design patents and plant patent. Although each type may have small differences in the patent application process, most are generally similar.

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