Here in the United States, applying for some type of patent is an incredibly common thing to do, with as many as half of a million patent applications received each and every year by the USPTO. Most of these patent applications are filed by people in about 12 different industries here in the United States, where up to half of all inventions tend to meet the necessary criteria for being eligible for a patent. However, though them majority of patent applications and patents themselves come out of these industries, patent law dictates that just about anyone here in the United States is able to apply for a patent, should they so choose.
And this has been the case for patent law for many, many years, not just for patent law here in the United States but for patent law in many places all throughout the world as well. After all, patent law has been in use for as many as 228 years, which was when the first patent law was able to be successfully implemented. In the years since, of course, what we understand patent law to be has developed and grown, but patent law is still incredibly important in our society and for those in the process of applying for one or more patents.
However, those applying for a patent or planning to do so in the near future should most definitely contact a patent lawyer in their area. A patent lawyer can help someone knew to patents and patent law understand its intricacies and every guideline that the should be following throughout the patent process. After all, you must understand the criteria for a patent before even knowing if its worth taking the time to apply for one. And if your potentially patented invention does meet the criteria, filling out the patent application correctly is quite crucial for overall success in being awarded a patent. Fortunately, patent attorneys will be able to help you to fill out this application, as well as look over it once it has been filled out and before it is sent out into the world. This can greatly help to reduce the risks of anything going wrong with your patent application and prohibiting and preventing your from getting a patent that you might otherwise deserve for your invention in question.
In addition to this important aspect of applying for a patent, a patent attorney can help you to understand exactly what protections you will be granted. For instance, most people aren’t really fully aware of what it means to have a patent pending, and this is something that your typical patent lawyer can help to make clear for you – or at least as clear as is possible. For instance, many people filing for a patent for the first time might to realize that they will have provisional protection for their invention under patent pending for up to a full year after applying for a patent, as it can sometimes take up to this long for a patent application to fully be reviewed. After this point in time, however, patent pending will no longer serve as a valid protection for any given invention and will immediately become null and void if the patent application is rejected, as one might have already assumed.
Fully understanding the terms of any given patent is also a hugely important thing, as many people also have not yet realized that patents do not last forever. In fact, the typical patent granted here in the United States is likely to only last for about 20 years before needing to be reapplied for. However, this is certainly something that will vary from patent to patent depending on a number of different factors, so it is very much something to discuss with the patent lawyer who is helping you in this process of getting a patent or even just reapplying for one after the original patent is set to expire. This patent lawyer can answer any question the you might have about the process of getting a patent and what it means to have one.