Patent Lawyer discusses the basics. When to talk to a patent lawyer. Daniel Cole
Interview with patent lawyer outlining when and how to start the patent process.
Protecting your idea from a lawyer.
Lawyers are ethically bound not to disclose any information provided by a client or potential client. For an extra layer of security, you can request that an NDA is signed. Another way is to send (and document) an email outlining the idea you wish to discuss. This of course only protects you from the lawyer but for those of you panicking that someone will steal your idea, this is a simple way to protect yourself.
Legal Advice Vs Legal Information
What is provided in the interview is legal information, it is non-specific and should not be taken as specific advice with regards to your specific situation. The goal is to provide a general understanding.
No such thing as a Worldwide Patent
For each country, you will need to file an individual patent. There is a PCT, Patent Co-operation Treaty which allows you to file for the right to seek a patent within a set timeframe in other countries.
Patent Types – Kindly provided by Daniel Cole
Provisional – Place holder sets date the patent office can not look past when deciding novelty and non-obvious. Either a PCT or a Utility must be filed in a year afterward.
PCT – Grants you rights to file a utility in multiple countries and call back to the filing date of the earlier patent either provisional or utility
Utility – The patent office actually analyzes and decides if you get twenty years of exclusivity or not
Design – Patent on an ornamental design NOT the mechanics of how something works JUST the ornamental design
Plant – A specific patent on a human-designed plant species usually only used for new ornamental plants very technical written differently.
Types of Patent Claims
Device – Claim on a particular thing either a mechanical object or a chemical compound usually
Method/System – Claims on particular way of doing something, use of a device or series of devices to do a particular thing
What can you get a patent for?
There are a wide variety of things you can patent. The cornerstones used to determine if you can actually patent something is:
Novel, Non-Obvious & Useful
Novel, according to Daniel Cole, this simply means new, very much the same way we understand it in common English.
Non-Obvious is a little trickier. For something to be non-obvious, it must be non-obvious to someone with all the data, education and information currently available. The way I understood it, is as follows: If someone that really understands the art area (field of study/subject matter) would easily figure it out or already knows how to do what you did, then it is likely to be considered obvious.
Patent rules differ in different countries.
If you have dreams of seeing your invention used worldwide and you holding the patent rights accordingly; you should at the very least speak to a lawyer before releasing any information about your idea to the public.
A lawyer can help you secure funding by offering an opinion on the protectability of your idea.
Great thanks to Daniel Cole at the Olive Law Group
The toilet paper roll as we know it today was patented in 1891.