How much do you know about patent law in St. Louis? If you are like most people in the area…probably not a lot! Unless you have been through the process of getting a patent or are actually someone who has studied patents, you probably are less than an expert on the subject. The truth is, patent law in St. Louis can be quite confusing and most people, though they know what a patent is, do not know the finer points. If you have recently invented a product and interested in a patent, it is imperative that you trust in the services of a patent lawyer.
What is a Patent and Why Do I Need One?
A patent is a document that can help to protect an inventor from others copying, manufacturing or using their invention in any way. Each patent will last for a certain period time, generally about 20 years. Once this time period has expired, you will need to get a new one. There are three main types of patents out there. The first, a utility patent, is generally used for machinery, any type of manufacturing process, or for chemical or biological compositions. A design patent, the second type, is used when something is protected based on its artistic composition. Finally, plant patents are those that are used when people create a hybrid plant. This typically comes into play with farming. By far, a utility patent is the most popular.
Only an inventor is allowed to apply for a patent. Don’t think you need one? If you don’t get one, yet you have invented or created something, there could be issues. You may have a great invention, for example, that could make you millions. Wouldn’t you want to protect that? Without a patent, there is nothing stopping anyone else from taking that idea and making it their own.
What Happens if a Patent is Violated?
There are certain checks in place when it comes to violating a patent. If you find out that a patent you have has been debased, it is your responsibility to start a course of action. A great place to start would be to contact a local patent attorney. Since they have the knowledge needed to get the proper reports and paperwork in place, you can quickly get the ball rolling. This can be a drawn out process and the sooner you begin, the better off you will generally be. There could be court costs involved as well as the cost of an attorney. The good thing is, if you have taken the steps to secure a patent on your invention, you are already protected. At that point, you can make the decision that makes the most sense to you, based on the advice of your legal counsel.