an inventor get paid when a patent is granted?
A patent does
not guarantee monetary success by itself. An inventor gets paid byeither
selling the invention or by licensing or selling (assigning) the patent
rights to someone else. Not all inventions are commercially successful.
The invention may actually cost the inventor more money than he or she
makes unless a strong business and marketing plan is created.
cost a lot of money?
The cost can
be very high for some people although fees for the patent application,
issue and maintenance fees and other related fees are reduced by 50 percent
when the applicant is a small business or individual inventor. You can
expect to pay the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office a minimum of about
$4,000 over the life of the patent.
Do you need
a patent to sell an invention?
No, you have
the right to make, use, and sell your own invention as long as it does
not violate (infringe) someone else's patent. The patent gives you the
right to exclude others from doing so without your permission.
"patent pending" mean?
is a phrase that often appears on manufactured items. It means that someone
has applied for a patent on an invention that is contained in the manufactured
item. It serves as a warning that a patent may issue that would cover the
item and that copiers should be careful because they might infringe if
the patent issues. Once the patent issues, the patent owner will stop using
the phrase "patent pending" and start using a phrase such as "covered by
U.S. Patent Number XXXXXXX." Applying the patent pending phrase to an item
when no patent application has been made can result in a fine.
happen if you didn't have a patent?
In some cases,
you could keep your invention a secret like the Coca-Cola Company keeps
the formula for Coke a secret. This is called a trade secret. Otherwise,
without a patent you run a risk of someone else copying your invention
with no rewards to you as the inventor.
do you have to be to get a patent?
no age restrictions on applying for a patent, but only the true inventor
is entitled to a patent. The youngest person to be granted a patent is
a four-year-old girl from Houston, Texas, for an aid for grasping round
the first patent?
U.S. patent was granted in 1790 to Samuel Hopkins of Philadelphia for "making
pot and pearl ashes"-a cleaning formula used in soapmaking.
renew a patent after it expires?
No, you can't
renew a patent after it expires. However, patents may be extended by a
special act of Congress and under certain circumstances certain pharmaceutical
patents may be extended to make up the time lost during the Food and Drug
Administration's approval process. After the patent expires, the inventor
loses exclusive rights to the invention.
remove a patent from a product?
probably wouldn't want to lose patent rights on a product. However, a patent
may be lost if determined to be invalid by the Commissioner of Patents
and Trademarks. For example, as a result of a re-examination proceeding
or if the patentee fails to pay the required maintenance fees the patent
may be lost. A court may also determine that a patent invalid.
you be sure no one will steal your patent?
If you think
someone has infringed your patent rights, then you can sue
person or company in a federal court.
How do you
know the people who work in the patent office are trustworthy for the job?
at the Patent and Trademark Office takes an oath of office to uphold the
laws of the United States. In addition, employees of the Patent and Trademark
Office are prohibited from applying for patents themselves.
if two people have the same idea and both apply for patents?
sometimes. When the Patent and Trademark Office receives two patent applications
for the same inventions, the cases go into an interference proceeding.
The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences then determines the first
inventor who thus may be entitled to a patent based on the information
provided by the inventors. This is why it is so important for inventors
to keep good records.
and clothing be patented?
Yes. A patent
may be obtained for any new, useful, unobvious invention. A patent generally
cannot be obtained on the laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract
ideas; a new mineral or a new plant found in the wild; inventions useful
solely in the utilization of special nuclear material or atomic energy
for weapons; a machine that is not useful; printed matter; or human beings.
I find out if my invention has or hasn't been invented by someone else?
can make a search of patents already granted, text books, journals and
other publications to be sure that someone else has not already invented
their idea. They may hire someone to do it for them or may do this themselves
at the Public Search Room of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Arlington,
Virginia, on the PTO web page on the Internet, or at one of the Patent
and Trademark Depository Libraries across the country.
USPTO tell me if my invention has been patented yet?
will not tell you if your invention has already been invented by someone
else unless you apply for a patent.
only one Patent and Trademark Office in the USA?
is only one, and it is located in Arlington, Virginia, close to Washington,
people work at the Patent and Trademark Office?
takes about 6,500 employees to do the job that the first patent board-Thomas
Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmond Randolph-did a little over 200 years
does it usually take to get a patent?
At this time
it takes an average of 22 months.
certain qualifications that you need for a good patent application?
specific requirements for all patent applications. An application must
include a specification, including a description and claim(s); an oath
or declaration identifying the applicant(s) believing to be the original
inventor(s); a drawing when necessary; and the filing fee. Prior to 1870,
a model of the invention was required as well. Today, a model is almost
If I get
a patent from any country's Patent Office in the world is my invention
protected in all the other countries?
patents are only effective in the country for which they are granted.
does one trademark have to be from another?
whether there is a conflict between two marks, the Patent and Trademark
Office determines whether consumers would be likely to confuse the goods
or services of one party with those of the other party as a result of the
use of the marks at issue by both parties.
Why do some
products have so many names?
invention actually involves developing at least two names. One name is
the generic name. The other name is the brand name or trademark. For example,
Pepsi® and Coke® are brand names; cola or soda are the generic
or product names. Big Mac® and Whopper® are brand names; hamburger
is the generic or product name. Nike® and Reebok® are brand names;
sneaker or athletic shoe are generic or product names.
page > Understanding
Inventing - Common Questions about Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights