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What Do I Need to Know About Filing a Patent?

If you're considering filing a patent in Cincinnati and aren't sure how to proceed, having an understanding of the process is highly important. Patents protect the creators of inventions from having their ideas stolen and used by others, which can result in great financial loss. There are numerous steps to the patent process however, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office has some tips to ensure your application is filed correctly.

The first step is to understand what is capable of being patented. According to statutes, machines, methods of manufacturing, processes, or improvements on existing inventions can all be patented. Chemical compositions can also be patented, and these types of patents can cover newly created chemicals, or a unique mixture of existing chemicals that are brought together to serve a new purpose.

It's also helpful to understand the different types of patents. Along with the above (which fall under the category of utility patents), there are also design and plant patents. Design patents apply to new ornamental designs for a manufactured item (such as new styling for a type of running shoe). Plant patents involve new varieties of plants that result from discovery or methods of asexual reproduction.

In terms of who can apply for a patent, there are also certain regulations that apply. Along with the person responsible for creating an invention (the inventor(s)), other parties designated by the inventor(s) can also apply for a patent on the inventor's behalf. Two inventors can also make an application jointly, but only if they both contributed to the invention. This means that financial contributors or managers or others that may not have contributed to the actual invention are not considered joint inventors, and therefore would not be able to be named as an inventor on an application.

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