Brought to you by Denver Patent Lawyer Mark Trenner.
A “utility” patent covers any “new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvements thereof.” This has been interpreted in U.S. courts to include inventions that include computer programs (software), as well as “methods of doing business,” even though these are each contentious in international relationships.
To attain patent protection in foreign countries, a patent application must be filed in each individual country, in accordance with the terms their national laws. International regulations help to streamline this costly process by allowing applicants to consolidate examinations and modifications in a single process, prior to adhering to the application process in each individual country.
Patent applications can be difficult to accurately draft and regularly result in administrative arguments with the examiner handling your patent. This process can take years to complete, with no guarantee in the end that a patent will ever be issued from a particular application. It is advised that you obtain counsel for a qualified patent attorney to assist you with the patent process. Especially if you believe your invention could be of great value and worth protecting. Regardless if you seek counsel or not, this process can be very expensive and time consuming, so having some help in your corner can help relieve some of your burden
As you can see the answer to the question “what is a patent?” is very complicated as there are many types of patents. You would be hard pressed to find just one correct response to the question. If you are trying to decide whether or not to apply for a patent, please do your research, and don’t be ashamed to seek advice from a professional. This could save you valuable time in the long run.