Patent Law What You Need to Know

Patent law

Coming up with a new idea for a product or an invention that revolutionizes an industry isn’t easy, so it is worthwhile protecting it. To do so, you need to register a patent and may require a patent attorney to do so. Given that the average number of patent law suits has increased to nearly 3,000 over the last 20 years; twenty years ago that figure sat at 500 annually. Patent applications themselves have also increased, doubling to more than 520,000 between 1998 and 2010. Ranked 9th in the world by patents per capita, the United States can benefit greatly from increasing its patent registrations and protecting patent owners’ rights.

Patent attorney services can help you navigate the patent application and registration process. Costs for patent registration can run as much as $3,000, according to IP Watchdog, a far cry from the $4 or $5 fee charged in 1790. Patent terms differ depending on the nature of the patent, so a design patent, for example, lasts for 14 years from the date the patent was granted, while a utility patent runs for 20 years from the application priority filing date. In terms of the related areas of copyright, it too has a limited term, with works created after January 1, 1978 falling under copyright up to 70 years after the death of the author. Works “made for hire”, on the other hand, which cover such things as work owned by a small business, have a copyright terms of 95 years from the year of its first publication or, depending on which expires first, a term of 120 years from the year of its creation.

Patent lawyers offer assistance with the whole process, from required drawings and application filing to the finalization of the registration. Patent filings seem to be growing with a 9% growth rate registered between 2012 and 2013, when more than 2.6 million patent applications were filed worldwide. In the U.S, 2010 and 2011 saw approximately 120,000 patents granted, a significant rise of the 400 patents per person granted between 1916 and 1915.U.S intellectual property value has been calculated as being being $5 trillion and $5.5 trillion, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Intellectual Property Center.

But not having the right patent law advice can be costly. In fact, the U.S economy loses $58 billion each year to copyright infringement alone, according to the Council of State Governments, including more than $16 billion in loss of revenue to copyright owners and $3 billion lost tax revenue. Using a patent attorney can make all the difference to your business.

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