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Patent Law

At the law firm of Sanders & Parks, our attorneys are committed to helping you protect your intellectual property. In addition to offering you assistance in protecting your ideas and creations, we want to offer you guidance on how to maximize their value. Our lawyers have been helping people in Phoenix, Arizona, and nationwide for more than 30 years. From intellectual property registration to intellectual property litigation, our experience can work for you.

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Patent Law

A patent is a government grant of the right to exclude others from using, manufacturing or selling an invention, process, or design for a specific period of time, usually 20 years from the date the patent application was filed. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the granting organization. In order to receive a patent, the applicant must show that the invention, process, or design is novel, useful and non-obvious. Seek the help of an experienced intellectual property attorney from Sanders & Parks, P.C. in Phoenix, AZ, who will answer your patent questions.

Requirements to Receive a Patent

In order for an invention, process, or design to qualify for a patent, it must meet several basic requirements. First, the invention must be "novel": it must not already known, used by others or patented in this country. Second, the invention must be "useful": its use must yield a significant and present benefit to society. The usefulness of the invention does not need to be economic in nature; it may be able to offer some immediate scientific or other benefit. Third, the invention must be "non-obvious": no person of ordinary skill, practicing the industry or art of the invention, would consider the invention obvious. Many patentable inventions, however, expand on existing ideas.

The Patent and Trademark Office

Operating within the Department of Commerce, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is charged with issuing patents, registering trademarks and providing information on both patents and trademarks. Located in the Washington, D.C., area, the USPTO receives and reviews all applications for U.S. patents.

Patent Prosecution

Patent prosecution, or the process of seeking a patent, is complex and lengthy. Applications for patents are filed with the USPTO and reviewed by patent examiners who are trained in fields such as chemistry, biology and engineering. Upon review, an examiner will either grant or deny the patent. A notice of rejection is accompanied by a statement of the reasons that the claim was refused so that an applicant may appeal the denial. The appeal typically must take place within three months of refusal, but this can vary.

A twice-rejected application may be appealed to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, with the payment of an additional appeals fee and the filing of a brief. (Alternatively, the applicant may file a request for continued examination (RCE).) If the applicant's appeal is not successful, the applicant may appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or file a civil lawsuit against the director of the USPTO.

Application Requirements and Confidentiality

A patent applicant may be required to submit design drawings, models of the invention and/or specifications on how to make and use the invention. The applicant will also be required to submit an oath stating that, to his or her knowledge, the applicant is the first inventor of the creation. Applications for patents are usually published 18 months after they are filed. A lawyer with Sanders & Parks, P.C. in Phoenix, AZ, can provide additional assistance.

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