New York, the epicenter of innovation, hums with the ambition of inventors and entrepreneurs chasing the golden gleam of a patent. But what do they (or you) really know about patent law?
Most have a vague notion that it protects inventions, but not much more. Further, patent law has changed in a few ways over the years, meaning that what you thought you knew may be old news.
First-to-invent became first-to-file
In a huge shift, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began issuing patents to those who file first, which might not be the inventor. In other words, whoever gets to the patent office first, not necessarily the original creator, may end up with the patent.
While this change rewards swift action, it may disadvantage those who diligently refine their ideas before seeking a patent.
New Post Grant Review process
When someone else gets a patent you deserve, it is not necessarily the final curtain call. In 2012, patent law changes made it possible for another party to challenge weak patents in certain situations. When successful, this could clear the field and enable you to patent your genuine innovations.
On the other hand, it could open a pathway for someone to contest a patent you hold, in which legal guidance is strongly recommended.
Rewards and risks
As you can see, the current patent law landscape presents both possibilities and pitfalls. Patent holders and aspirants should stay informed about the law to ensure stringent preservation now and in times to come.
You understand the value that intellectual property, including patents, can add to your individual and business interests, or you would not be reading this post. Take it a step further by seeking guidance from an experienced attorney who understands the subtle nuances of patent law.