Advice on Patents


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What is a Patent

What Is a Patent?

 A patent by definition is a acknowledgement of proper rights to an inventor, for a specific invention. They are issued by the USPTO, after rigorous searches in the patent archives, verifying that no infringements on existing patents are made.

Once an invention has qualified, and is granted a patent, the typical life span of the patent is twenty years from the original filing date, provided the maintenance fees are paid. There are certain cases where extensions are granted.


The official wording of the patent statute is:

“the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States. What is granted is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell or import, but the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention.*

 Note that the actual patent is not designed to permit usage of the invention, but more of an exclusion from allowing any entity or individual from making, using, importing or selling the invention.

This patent is only valid in the United States, and it's possessions, unless foreign patents are granted as well, by their perspective patent board or authority. Each individual country has their own processes to follow in order to obtain a patent protecting the invention in that country.

Unfortunately for individual inventors especially, the USPTO offers no enforcement in protecting their invention. Meaning if someone were to infringe or in some way violate the patent, the patent holder must enforce the patent on their own.

Defending patent infringement is a very expensive process, but necessary if you wish to maintain the very rights granted by the patent.

* Reprinted from the USPTO statute itself.


 © Lee A. Jesberger - 2008

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