Getting protection through an issued patent can be an important milestone for any business, but that doesn’t mean the patent is invincible.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can give patents, and with proper reason, they can also take patents away. (ß– CHECK LINK)One of the most common reasons your invention could be found unpatentable is when your innovation turns out to be neither novel nor inventive.
A claim is considered patentable until an examiner decides otherwise. This could be because it’s obvious there’s a precedent, or they find proof that your process or device already exists. Such proof is referred to as prior art.
A third party can present prior art to the USPTO, leading the office to re-examine a patent you already hold. That could take several different forms, such as:
- Printed documents like magazines or newspapers
- Websites or YouTube videos
- Demonstrations at trade shows
The best way to ensure ongoing success is to establish the uniqueness of your idea and quickly handle any intellectual property turmoil that might arise.
- Patent search: Thorough preparation can ward off trouble in the future. That can start with making sure there aren’t any conflicts by comparing it to innovations already out in the public eye.
- Examiners: A patent application isn’t an open-and-shut case. You’ll likely have to work with examiners and provide reasoning for why a questioned patent has merit.
- Post-approval: Handling the maintenance that comes with a patent can be daunting but essential for protecting your work. This can include a solid defense when someone challenges your patent.
Proving your invention is unique and keeping it in place isn’t always an easy ask. It can require experienced help every step of the way.