How to Patent an Idea Or Concept
A copyright is the legal right of ownership granted to an author or creator. Copyrights protect creative works, such as computer programs, pictures, and architectural designs. Another type of intellectual property is a trademark. Trademarks are names, logos, or symbols that identify a product or service. A trademark enables the owner to sell or promote its product or service to other companies. There are many benefits to obtaining a trademark for an idea or concept.
Inventions cannot be abstract
Unless the invention is new and useful, it cannot be patented. For instance, the mere discovery of a microorganism, not the actual creation of that microorganism, is not an invention. Similarly, the invention cannot be an abstract idea, such as a new way to trade commodities. Patenting such an idea is unlikely to result in any commercial success, since the invention would only serve to improve the natural processes.
In an opinion dated May 26, 2014, the Supreme Court affirmed that an abstract idea, even if tied to a computer system, is not patentable. In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, Inc., Justice Thomas wrote, “We need not labor to delineate the precise contours of the ‘abstract idea’ category in this case,” and invalidated Alice trading platform patents.
The patentability of software was also a source of controversy. While USPTO rules have generally favored the concept of abstract ideas, individual patent examiners could still apply the guidelines differently. This led to inconsistent and unpredictable decisions. However, the new guidelines are expected to strengthen trust in the patent system by defining the term “abstract idea.”
While business models are often considered a business asset, they may also be patentable. Traditionally, business models have been patented for methods of selling airline tickets or managing money market accounts. But in the information age, with the ability to embed business models into digital code, businesses have been increasingly seeking to patent these methods to compete with their competitors. Here are the key factors to patent a business model. You must follow the patent law and follow all requirements to make your business model patentable.
The USPTO has strict guidelines on what constitutes a patentable business method. This includes a business strategy, not a specific method of doing business. Additionally, the method must be novel, useful, and complete. Not all business methods can be patented, and the USPTO is particularly strict about the class in which they may fall under. Some examples include computer-implemented movie rental systems and business models, such as e-commerce.
Businesses sometimes mistake their business model for a patent. These patents may include specific business methods and techniques, like an online information delivery system. Other examples of successful business method patent applications include a client-server system for delivering online information, an access control system for network servers, electronic mail systems that display advertisements to remote users, and Amazon’s 1-Click system. While business method patents last 17 years, they restrict how other companies use specific business processes.
To get a patent, a business model must be patented. It must satisfy the usefulness requirement, which is relatively low, but it must be able to produce a concrete result. It must also demonstrate non-obviousness and novelty, which is often determined by examining the natural evolution of the method in question. Moreover, the method must be tied to a specific machine or transform physical matter. But if it is a new business model, it may qualify as a technical invention.
There are many things to keep in mind when it comes to the process of patenting an idea or concept. The process itself must be novel, practical, and nonobvious. The patent application must be filed as early as possible, so that the USPTO will consider the applicant as the first inventor of the idea. The patent examiner will then put any third parties who may infringe on the patent on notice.
The process behind the invention is protected with a business method patent. It will prevent competitors from using it and will enable the inventor to charge them a licensing fee to use the idea or concept. A recent example of this is the one-click shopping process used by Amazon. This method uses customer credentials to validate the transaction. This allowed the company to avoid entering credit card or other personal information, thereby preventing users from making a wrong decision. Apple licensed the process from Amazon because the iTunes store needed it to grow.
Patenting a business method is not as easy as it used to be. Because it is transferable, business method patents are highly valuable to non-practicing entities that make money by asserting them. However, it is also difficult to identify exactly what the patent covers. Hence, this type of patent is likely to inadvertently infringe upon a similar product. If you are planning on patenting a business method, be sure to read the requisite patent law and consult an attorney who is familiar with this area of law.
The US Patent Office has recently decided that business method patents will only be valid if they are tied to a machine, which is required to be in the technological arts. The Supreme Court and US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit have never recognized this categorization requirement for inventions. State Street was an example of a business method patent because it used hardware to implement it. While this case has a narrow focus, the decision has been significant for the patenting process.
A design can be patented if it is unique and serves a functional purpose. For instance, Coca-Cola’s unique bottle shape can be patented. Below is the original patent for this product. If you look at the design patent itself, you’ll notice that it’s quite unusual. And, of course, Coca-Cola’s bottle is very iconic, as is the original patent for the product. And if you’ve ever wondered how Coca-Cola came up with such a strange-looking bottle, you’ll see that the original is below.
To patent a design, you’ll need to provide a title describing the article in which it is embodied. While a marketing designation might be acceptable, it isn’t enough. An accurate title will help the examiner conduct a prior-art search and assign the new design properly. Additionally, the title will help the public understand the nature of the article. Because the title is an essential part of the process, it’s encouraged that you include it in your design patent application.
While design patents may be easier to obtain than utility patents, they’re not as valuable. Nonetheless, they are much cheaper to obtain. That means you’ll be better protected if your design becomes popular. In the United States, design patents have been awarded since 1842, which is just over 150 years ago. So, if you have a great idea, you should patent it! You can even protect your own designs from copycats with a design patent.
You can also patent a new design concept even if you don’t have any unique functional features. However, if you’re selling a new product and it’s similar to one that already exists, a design patent may be a better option. You can also apply for multiple design patent applications to protect a concept. So, if you’re looking for a design patent, make sure you know your product well. You’ll be glad you did.
As far as timing goes, it’s important to understand that a design patent can last fifteen years. The term of a design patent will vary depending on the date of filing, but generally, it’s about 15 years from the date of grant. That’s quite a long time! A design patent can’t last much longer than that, so make sure you know what you’re doing before you file a design patent application.