Apply for a provisional patent, learn how to protect your inventions, and get in touch with a patent attorney.
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Gary Lambert, Esq.

Rocket Lawyer On Call Attorney

Common Patent Questions

What is a patent?

A patent establishes intellectual ownership of an invention. There are three basic kinds of patents issued by the USPTO: design, plant, and utility. Design patents concern inventions that are new and novel but don’t necessarily improve any functionality, such as the shape of a soda can. Plant patents, though rare, involve things like new seed strains that were invented and did not naturally evolve. Utility patents are the most common by far and concern everything from a brand new product to a prescription drug to a machine or even a process of manufacture. To qualify, your invention would need to have a use (even a novelty or trivial one) and substantively different than an existing patent.

Can I patent an idea?

Simply put, no. Patents cover inventions not the ideas that inspired them. To successfully apply for a patent, you often will want to tell the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) how you came up with the idea behind your invention, but that won’t be enough to secure a patent. You’ll need to show exactly how your invention works (this is often done with diagrams and design specs) and explain how it’s different from previous, existing inventions.

What does “patent pending” mean?

“Patent pending” means that someone has applied for patent protection on their invention but has yet to receive a reply from the US Patent and Trademark Office. You cannot legally use the phrase “patent pending” without having actually applied for a provisional or full patent.

What can I do about patent infringement?

If you suspect your patent has been infringed upon, it’s highly advisable you talk to a qualified patent attorney. Since patents can be worth big money, you’ll want a professional on your side, especially if you’re dealing with a large corporation. You could win royalties and make back lost profits as a result of a successful patent case.

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More Patent Documents

Protect Your Patent

Cease and Desist Letter Stop infringement
Non-Disclosure Agreement Make sure your property stays yours
Employee Invention Assignment Negotiate patent ownership with employees

Share Your Patent

License Agreement License your patent to another party
Patent Application Agreement Transfer your application to someone else
Patent Assignment Sell a patent

Invent as a Team

Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement Collaborate and maintain privacy
Joint Venture Agreement Codify your relationship
Confidentiality Agreement Share information with confidence
Letter of Intent Set the groundwork for a contract
Strategic Alliance Agreement Share resources with another party