About the importance of a patent attorney

We already told you about Patents and Utility models and gave you Sales and Marketing suggestions. Remember: The goal of inpama.com is to provide inventors a platform to present, sell, and market their patented inventions on their own.

Today we want to explain you the importance of a patent attorney.

It´s just like Mary Bellis on about.com writes: „As the inventor you know the scientific and technical knowledge involved in your invention.

However, the preparation of a patent application and conducting proceedings with any patent office requires a knowledge of patent law and rules and the patent office’s practices and procedures. The knowledge that a patent attorney has.“

Without that knowledge you might be granted a patent and later find out that it doesn´t protect your invention properly!

In the United States, the USPTO makes the rules and regulations governing any patent attorney or patent agent. To find one click here.

California leads the USA in innovation, or does it?

Remember? We already told you about Utility patents. They are the most common patent type and a primary means of protecting intellectual property and technological innovation. IFI CLAIMS®Patent Services recently announced its top-50 ranking of global companies awarded the most U.S. utility patents in 2011. IBM remains in the first position, as it has for 19 years in a row, with a record of 6180 utility patents. Samsung trails second with 4894 and Canon replaces Microsoft in the third slot with 2821.

According to IFI, the USPTO issued 224.505 utility patents in 2011, an increase of two percent over 2010’s record breaking total. While preparing the 2011 Patent Intelligence and Technology Report, IFI analysts took a closer look at the 2011 US patent grants and in particular the location of the inventors named on these documents. Despite the obvious surge of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese companies in the Top 50 assignees, 50% of US patents in 2011 named US inventors.

Diving deeper into the US inventor information the IFI analysts could rank the States based on inventor data. In this case a patent is credited to a state if at least one of the patent’s inventors resides in the state. The top 10 states are shown below:

2011 US Utility Patent Grants
California 32,715
Texas 9,407
New York 9,263
Massachusetts 7,106
Washington 5,737
New Jersey 5,583
Illinois 4,933
Pennsylvania 4,746
Michigan 4,644
Minnesota 4,609

As you see California is the clear leader with respect to the overall volume of patents accounting for 15% of the total number of US utility patents granted in 2011. However when you factor in population, IFI analysts find Vermont at the top of list along with Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The figure below shows a graph of the top 10 states by number of utility patents granted, and the number of patents granted per 100.000 residents.

So what exactly is going on in Vermont that accounts for its performance? The IFI analysts looked at the assignees and found IBM accounting for most of the patent activity. How come? IBM has a large facility in Burlington that designs and produces semiconductors.

Do You Know … Utility Models?

There are different ways to protect your intellectual property. The most commonly known is to apply for a patent. But have you heard about Utility Models? In many countries, this seems to be easier and cheaper.

A utility model is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which allows the rights holder to prevent others from commercially using the protected invention, without his authorization, for a limited period of time. In its basic definition, a utility model is similar to a patent, but has a shorter term (often six to ten years).

In fact, utility models are sometimes referred to as “petty patents” or “innovation patents.” The requirements for acquiring a utility model are less stringent than for patents. While the requirement of “novelty” is always to be met, that of “inventive step” or “non-obviousness” may be much lower or absent altogether. In practice, protection for utility models is often sought for innovations of a rather incremental character which may not meet the patentability criteria.

The term of protection for utility models is shorter than for patents and varies from country to country (usually between 7 and 10 years without the possibility of extension or renewal). In most countries where utility model protection is available, patent offices do not examine applications as to substance prior to registration. This means that the registration process is often significantly simpler and faster, taking, on average, six months. Utility models are much cheaper to obtain and to maintain.

In some countries, utility model protection can only be obtained for certain fields of technology and only for products but not for processes.To find more information on patents and how to apply, please visit www.inventorhaus.com.