Frequently Asked Questions
A patent is the core legal protection for inventors and their inventions. The purpose of this protection is to provide an inventor with the necessary time and space to make, use and sell his or her invention without the threat of completion. In essence, it is the right to exclude others, for a specified time period, from simultaneously building, using or selling that particular invention the marketplace.
Reference Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents, Chapter 1 for more details.
A patent gives the inventor the right to stop others from making, using, selling or importing the patented good s or services without permission of the patent holder. Allowing you to retain exclusive commercial rights, which is a big deal for when you look to monetize your invention. Additionally, there is the altruistic reasoning for patents, and that is as a contribution to the world at large, participating in the advance of technology as a whole.
Reference Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents, Chapter 2 for more details.
According to the patent statute “Any person who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine manufacture, composition of matter or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent.” This gives us the four main categories of patents.
Process: A set or series of acts, in a certain order and sequence.
Machine: The apparatus itself. The sum of various physical parts that carry out a process.
Manufacture: An assembly or system of apparatuses.
Composition of Matter: The combination and mixing of substances that form a chemical union, and changing them at the atomic level.
Reference Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents, Chapter 3 for more details.
For a client that wants to know what patents or publications (known as prior art) are already out in the public. This helps answer the basic question of novelty: “Is my invention or improvement really new?”
A patentability search is a vital part of any IP strategy. Patent searches can help you refine your invention, complete a successful patent application, and fully protect your intellectual property. And, a professional and comprehensive patent search can help you avoid unnecessary expenses and delays. Learn more about patent searches below.
Reference Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents, Chapter 8 for more details.
A Provisional Patent Application serves to establish a foothold, it is a less formal cursory patent, that once accepted by the USPTO gives you one year to test, build and refine the description and claims of your Non-Provisional application.
A Non-Provisional Patent Application requires a much more in-depth and clearly defined summary of your invention, including technical drawings, Full Claims, description and more.
Reference Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents, Chapter 14 for more details.
The three major types of Patents available are:
Utility: Structure, operation or composition of a machine, product or process. This covers the function of the invention.
Design: The Non-functional aspect of your creation, protecting the physical appearance and design.
Plant: A patent awarded for the invention or discovery of an asexually reproduced variety of plant, requiring the creation to be reproducible in a lab setting without the aid of mother nature.
Reference Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents, Chapter 15 for more details.
Copyrights are a set of rights that may be exerted over original works, including literary pieces, musical compositions, and graphic works. Rights that are controlled by copyrights include the rights to do the following:
- Produce and reproduce the work
- Distribute copies or recordings
- Sell the work
- Display the work publicly
- Perform the work publicly
Copyrights may be transferred among individuals or companies from the original owner through a copyright license agreement. For example, if a recording artist produces a song, that artist may transfer the right to distribute and sell that work to an agency.
You may seek a copyright registration for a variety of types of works, including, but not limited to:
- Sound recordings and musical works
- Books and other literary works
- Dramatic works
- Pantomimes and choreographed works
- Pictorial, graphical, and sculptural works
- Motion pictures
- Architectural works
Copyrights do not include things like ideas, processes, methods, titles, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols and designs, listings of ingredients or contents, and typographic lettering. You may seek a patent or trademark for some of these things, but others are not protected. A copyright licensing lawyer can help you determine if your creative work can be protected.
You obtain a copyright protection on your work immediately when it is created in a tangible form. That may include written, audio recorded, or otherwise fixed into a perceivable form. Although you are not required to register a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, you must do so if you wish to assert your rights in a legal forum. Thus, if you want to transfer those rights or argue copyright infringement, you must register your copyright.
Our experienced copyright licensing lawyer can help you register your copyright. We understand the process of filing an application with the U.S. Copyright Office and submitting appropriate information with your registration. You may complete the application online; however, you may also choose to submit a paper form. Additionally, you must also ensure you deposit a copy of your work.
The process of copyright registration can take up to eight months for applications submitted online and up to 10 months if you submit a paper application. However, those times can be extended if you fail to submit the proper documentation or if there is a challenge to your rights. A copyright licensing lawyer can make sure your application is complete. He can also make sure you efficiently file the appropriate information.
For works created after January 1, 1978, a copyright lasts 70 years after the death of the author. If the work was created by multiple authors, the copyright lasts 70 years after the death of the last surviving author’s death. For anonymous works or works created for hire, the copyright lasts 95 years from the publication or 120 years from the creation, whichever is shorter.
Works created or published prior to 1978 adhere to a complex set of copyright rules. A copyright licensing lawyer can help you make sure you have rights to your creative work in addition to ensuring those rights are protected.
If you own a copyright or hope to obtain copyrights from someone, you may need to create a copyright licensing agreement to transfer those rights. With a copyright licensing agreement, you may choose to transfer all of your rights or specific uses to your works. Our copyright licensing lawyer can help you develop a copyright licensing agreement that meets your needs as well as protects your rights.
Copyright licensing agreements are contracts that should be developed with specific legal information in mind. They should contain the following:
- Complete description of the work
- Grant of license detailing rights being transferred
- Limitations of license
- Rights and obligations of copyright owner and licensee
- Details of payment of royalties
The wording of these legal sections should be extremely precise. Our copyright licensing lawyer has extensive experience developing agreements that convey copyrights while protecting the rights of our clients.
If you are seeking a copyright or hope to transfer rights to a creative work, you need someone to guide you through the process of registration and licensing. Our skilled copyright licensing lawyer will listen to your goals and then develop legal documents that meet your needs. We will efficiently handle your copyright licensing matter. Call us today at (800) 849-1913.