Patents can protect technical solutions, such as products, devices and methods that are new and inventive. A granted patent gives the owner the right to prohibit competitors from using the patented invention commercially in the country where the patent was granted. Commercial use includes manufacturing, importing or selling a patented product or using a patented method. The patenting process begins with a discussion between the inventor and the patent attorney. It is important to include as much information as possible in the application because nothing can be added after the application has been filed. But information which should be kept secret can be left out.
The inventor (s) and the patent attorney go through the invention in a kick-off meeting.
Drafting the application
The patent attorney prepares a patent application proposal and reviews it with the applicant. Typically, the process of preparing a patent application involves 1-3 rounds of commenting and editing.
Prosecuting the application
Once the patent draft is complete, it is filed with the Patent Office. After the Patent Office examines the application, the patent attorney assists them in discussing the merits of the invention with the patent Office.
Granting the patent and renewals
If the Patent Office agrees that the claims are new and inventive, the Patent Office grants a patent for the invention defined in the claims. Maintenance fees have to be paid to keep the patent in force. The patent right expires 20 years after the grant. It expires earlier if maintenance fees are not paid.
Simple patent application
Typical patent application
Complex patent application
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