Categories: Patent Law / Uncategorized

Blog ➥ Category

Published June 17, 2024

Catherine Cavella, ESQ.

Over the next three months, we’re diving deeper into ideas, innovations, and inventions that are worthy of patent protection that you and your business might not have considered. It’s important to understand the expanse of IP protections available to create greater value for your business, colleagues, clients, and customers.

 

Today, we are taking a look at patentable products and inventions that you otherwise may have overlooked. Taking advantage of all available patent protections gives you and your business a leg up on the competition, so it’s important to be aware of the possibilities and approach them with an experienced patent attorney by your side.

 

Variations of and Improvements on the Work of Others

Did somebody else beat you to the punch on an invention but you have a better or more practical way of doing it? You might still be able to patent it. You can patent improvements and variations of an already patent-protected creation if your improvements are “novel and non-obvious.” This means the changes must be something that wouldn’t easily be figured out by anyone of “ordinary skill in the art,” that is, by anyone who knows this area of technology.

 

Where this gets complicated is actually using your new patent. Having a patent that relies heavily on the invention of someone else does not automatically give you the right to use the new patented invention. If your use falls within the claims of the original patent, then you need to  get permission (a “license”) from the previous patent owner to avoid infringement. If you are unsure whether your use falls within the claims of the previous patent, talking to a patent lawyer can help.

 

The important distinction is that a patent gives you the right to exclude others from using your invention. It does not give you the right to use your invention.

 

Process Patents

A process patent (also known as a “method patent”)  covers a series of steps or methods that lead to a specific outcome. This outcome can be the manufacture of a product, the execution of a particular task, or the achievement of a desired result.

 

The unique processes that you and your team use regularly to produce results and make an impact internally and in the industry may be worthy of patent protection. These processes allow you to make sure the efficient and innovative processes you have developed are not copied and reproduced by competitors, especially if members of your team leave, an issue that has become more critical with the recent FTC ruling against non-compete clauses.

 

Plant Patents and Molecule Patents

Plants and molecules represent two unique areas of patent law that require the attention of a patent attorney who works on such patents. Plant patents protect novel plants that you engineer; patents on molecules are utility patents on novel chemicals (often pharmaceutical compounds) that must pass additional scrutiny before they can be patented. Our team currently does not handle plant patents or molecule patents, but we have relationships with other patent attorneys and refer clients to work with them as needed.

 

Know Your Patent Rights with IP Works Law

At IP Works Law, our experienced patent attorneys understand the extensive scope of patent protections. We regularly work directly with our clients, helping them to secure the necessary protection for their innovations and ideas, ensuring they are able to stand out from the competition. Let us help you turn your creativity into exclusive, protected intellectual property. Contact IP Works Law to Power Your Ideas®.

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Since 1992, Catherine Cavella, Esq. Her focus on Trademark Law and Copyright Law for the last few decades gives her deep insights into the fundamental principles behind the rules. Catherine regularly writes about new developments in trademark law, copyright law, and internet law.