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An Overview on Patents

What is a Patent?

The function of a patent is to protect an inventor and their invention. But the definition of the law is a little confusing. Because what a patent grants is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, or sell an invention. But the right to stop others from doing so.

Types of Patents

To better serve inventors, patents fall into three categories:

Design Patents

The granting of these patents is for inventing a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.

Plant Patents

Plant patents protect the invention, or discovery of an asexually reproducing, distinct variety of plant. The patent includes all ‘parts’ of plants.

Utility Patents

Utility patents protect those who invent a new or improved useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter.

Requirements for a Patent

For a patent to be issued, inventions must meet the following criteria:

  • The invention is usable, it cannot just be theory
  • A clear description of how to make and use the invention
  • The invention must be new, or novel. Something not done before
  • Not obvious, the invention cannot be a related change to something already invented

To learn more about our patent attorney solutions in Chicago, please call (312) 236-8500. Where one of our team members will be available. They can discuss your needs in more detail and can answer questions you may have. If you would prefer to send us a message instead, please fill out the form found on this page and we will contact you soon.

Patent Attorney Chicag - Patent applicaiton in progress
Patent Attorney Chicago - Aerial view of a crowd

Who can Apply for a Patent?

The inventor, or their patent attorney, may apply for a patent. There are exceptions to this rule. For example, if the inventor has died, is legally incapacitated, cannot be found, or refuses to apply.

When the inventors involved apply together, they can grant patents for joint inventions.

A person, or company, to whom an inventor has assigned an invention. Or the inventor is contractually obligated to assign an invention may also apply for a patent.

Investors who are not involved in the invention’s creation cannot be named as an inventor or co-inventor in a patent application. If you are not the inventor or if the invention has not been assigned to you, then you may not apply for a patent.

Why do I need a Patent Attorney?

You don’t need to work with a patent attorney. Their value stems from their experience and expertise in IP law.

The benefits of working with a patent lawyer or law firm comes from their knowledge of how to protect your intellectual property.

Which can ease navigating applications, procedures, litigation, and other legal action. Basically, you put an expert in your corner.

Benefits of Registering a Patent

Inventions are often the driving force behind innovation. They can change the landscape of an industry by optimizing, simplifying, or changing how a process is done. Which makes them a crucial component in the advancement of technology across all industries.

But without the protection of a patent. The benefits of the invention’s advancement can be lost to others, like competitors.

So, protect your innovations and ideas by registering your invention and backing it up with a patent law firm.

How Long is a Patent Valid?

The length of a patent depends on its type.

A plant and utility patent has a term of up to 20 years from the date of a non-provisional application. Design patents have a term of 15 years from the date it was granted.

There is a maintenance fee schedule after issuing a utility patent to keep it in force.

How We Protect your Intellectual Property

Cook Alex is an intellectual property law firm that provides clients with a full range of technology-related and intellectual property legal services. Which includes a wide breadth and depth of industry and technical knowledge.

Our difference comes from a commitment to provide clients with comprehensive IP law solutions. Where we provide clients with counseling, protection, portfolio value maximization, enforcement, and defense!

From copyrights, to trademarks, to trade secrets, you can trust us to handle all your intellectual property needs!

Contact Us Today!

When you are ready to work with our Chicago patent attorney team, please call (312) 236-8500 and speak with one of our associates. They provide more information about our solutions and can answer your questions. You can also send us a message by filling out the form found on this page and we will contact you soon!

Get Started Today

Cook Alex

Chicago Patent Attorney
200 West Adams Street, Suite 2004
Chicago, Illinois 60606

Naperville Patent Attorney
2020 Calamos Court, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: (312) 236-8500
Fax: (312) 236-8176