THE LAW OFFICES OF BRIAN S. STEINBERGER, P.A.

REGISTERED PATENT ATTORNEYS SINCE 1993

Over 1,000 U.S. patents granted

Over 1,300 U.S. trademarks prosecuted

(321) 633-5080

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101 Brevard Avenue Cocoa, Florida 32922

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Do I Need a Patent?

People cannot just sell an idea for a product. Unless the idea/product is in the public domain, a patent can be necessary to prove the seller owns the product/idea they wish to sell. In other words, why should someone buy something from you if you don’t have the title or deed saying you own the invention.

Design and utility patents give the owner exclusive rights on making, using, and selling an invention in the United States for a limited lifespan.

Utility Patents have a government filing fee of $730 (small entity), $400 (micro entity), with a 20 year life, and cover both function and appearance. Inventions include mechanical devices, electronics, chemical compositions, recipes/formulas and software. Design Patents cover appearance only protection with a government fee of $380 (small entity), $190 (micro entity). Provisional applications are not patents, but do allow one to use the patent pending status for a government fee of $130 (small entity), $65 (micro entity). Provisional applications must be converted into a utility application within one year to obtain a patent. “Patent Pending” can only be used, if one applies for a provisional, utility or design application.

Other legal and government fees necessary during the patent issuance, maintenance process add thousands of dollars to the cost of obtaining a patent. Patents must be applied within one year of their public disclosure or it is too late and patent protection becomes unavailable.

Preliminary Internet at the USPTO website (www.uspto.gov) can be done for free. However, one cannot rely solely on their results because their databases are limited. Professional searches done at the United States Patent Office in Washington, D.C. can be necessary to give a better determination of what is patentable. The USPTO recommends using a registered patent attorney or a patent agent in obtaining patent protection.