Whether you have a groundbreaking idea that still needs to be developed or your business team is creating new technology or medication to benefit consumers, you will need to protect your product, invention or idea from competitors who might take credit for your hard work. At the Law Offices of Levi Williams, P.A., we are prepared to answer the questions of Florida inventors and businesspeople regarding patents.
What is a patent? According to FindLaw, patents protect products, ideas and inventions from infringement by those who are unauthorized to work on or have access to them during development or production. If, for example, you obtain a patent for a new type of software, others will be prohibited from manufacturing, using or selling the same techniques or designs that are exclusively yours under the terms of the patent. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants three different types of patents, which include the following:
- Utility – covers new processes, chemicals or machines, and is the most commonly granted patent
- Plant – for the development and asexual reproduction of new, distinct varieties of plants
- Design – includes the unique design or appearance of objects that are manufactured
Patents are valid only for a certain period of time, and you may need to occasionally pay maintenance fees. You may also need to prove your qualifications in your field and how the product or idea will be useful. This area of law is often very complex, and experienced counsel is usually necessary to apply for a patent. Our corporate law page explains more about business owners’ legal needs when they manufacture or develop new products.