Utility Patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They may cover such things as devices, processes, and systems. Generally, utility patents issued after June 8, 1995 provide the owner of the patent with the ability to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing devices covered by the claims of the patent for a period of twenty years after the earliest priority date of the patent. Patent owners may profit by selling or licensing their inventions to others wishing to practice the invention.
The process of obtaining a utility patent may start by filing a provisional patent application. This is a relatively informal filing with the USPTO. A provisional patent application will not automatically mature into an enforceable patent and will effectively reduce the duration of enforceability of a patent claiming the benefit of the provisional. However, a provisional patent may provide important advantages to the inventor in situations where a patent must be filed quickly to avoid a statutory bar to filing or in instances in which the inventor wants to secure a filing date before sharing the invention with others.
A non-provisional utility patent is the kind of patent that most people think of when they think about a patent. This kind of patent starts as a patent application filed with the USPTO. The USPTO then examines the claims contained in the application and allows a patent to issue if it finds that all statutory requirements of a valid patent have been met. These patents are issued in many different fields of technology.
Kelly G. Swartz has experience with patents including, but not limited to, the following technology areas:
- LED Technology
- Electronic Design
- Green Technology
- Computer Software
- Mechanical Designs