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Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Patents

The following are just a sample of the variety of questions that clients and potential clients bring to the attention of Attorney Roland Tong. For more information, explore this website, including blog posts, or request a consultation.

Question: What is patentable?

Answer: A patent protects rights to an inventor’s “new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof,” according to federal law. A utility patent protects structural features and/or functional features of an invention. A design patent protects rights to ornamental or decorative features of an investigation. A plant patent refers to protection over a plant (a living thing). A patent holder possesses “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale or selling” the invention.

Question: What is the difference between a patent and a copyright? Or between a patent and a trademark?

Answer: Each of these terms – patent, copyright and trademark – defines a type of intellectual property. As mentioned above, a patent protects an invention, such as a process, machine or manufactured object, a composition of matter or the new and useful improvement of an already existing invention. Copyright, on the other hand, protects an original artistic or literary work. A trademark protects words, slogans, symbols or designs that identify the source of a product or service.

Question: What happens when there is a dispute about a patent?

Answer: Disputes about patents may come up at several points in time before and after a patent has been issued. For example, an inventor may challenge the validity of another party’s patent that has already been issued. Or, once a patent exists, a patent holder may claim that another party infringed upon it. The owner of a patent may bring legal action against a supposed infringer on the basis that the defendant illegally made, used, sold, imported or offered for sale an innovation covered by the plaintiff’s patent. Patent litigation is a common occurrence – potentially costly but in many cases, ultimately rewarding for the winner (whether plaintiff or defendant). A patent litigation attorney’s experience can make a significant difference in the success or failure of such a lawsuit.

Get Answers To Your Questions

When it comes to patents and other types of intellectual property protections, there is no substitute for dialogue with an experienced patent lawyer. To schedule a consultation with Attorney Roland Tong at Roland Tong, Patent Attorney for Manning, & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP, call 949-298-6867, text 949-331-2889 or send an email inquiry.