by Intellectual Property Attorney Bill Honaker, the IP Guy

Inventions are protected by patents, which give the owner(s) the legal right to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention. A few famous patent inventions are the light bulb, telephone and computer.

There are three types of patents – a utility patent, a design patent and a plant patent. Utility patents protect inventions, products or processes, while a design patent protects the appearance of manufactured products, and a plant patent protects asexually reproduced plants.

A patent application should be filed as soon as possible because protection goes to the first to do so. In the U.S., there is a one-year grace period to file a patent application. The timer starts when the invention is made available for public use, for sale or described in a printed publication. Most other countries do not give you a grace period, and if you choose to disclose the invention before you file, you lose your right to get patent protection in that country.

The Takeaway

Intellectual property is one of your most valuable assets, so take steps early to invest in and protect it. If you don’t, there can be significant consequences.

Have questions about trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, or other types of Intellectual Property? Let’s talk and assess your IP today.

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