Law Offices of Roland Tong, P.C.
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What property rights do I have while I'm applying for a patent?

In order to receive a patent, you need to submit a patent application. However, waiting for your patent to be approved could take a considerable amount of time -- time that could eat into your business profits -- especially if another company is infringing on your patent. For this reason, most business owners are curious to know what their intellectual property rights will be as they wait for their patent to be approved.

Before you file for a patent, you'll receive some legal protection under trade secret laws. These laws protect the technical information that provides your business with value. Under trade secret laws, other parties may not use, create or sell your inventions and/or trade secrets. However, trade secret laws do not provide as much legal protection as patents.

After submitting your application for a patent, you can put a stamp on all of your products that says "Patent Pending." This will warn other parties that if they use your invention, they will be using it at their own risk because there could be consequences after your patent gets approval.

When your patent has been approved, you will have a monopoly on your creation for a limited period of time. You or your company will be the only party that can legally import, sell or use the invention. If another party tries to use it, you can sue that party for patent infringement.

Having a patent on an invention is a powerful position to be in. However, applying for and gaining approval for your patent is not always a straightforward process. As such, if you have an invention or a piece of intellectual property to protect, you may want to learn about your legal rights and options regarding the patent application process.

Source: FindLaw, "Patent Enforcement FAQ," accessed Dec. 28, 2017

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