Briggs Law Group is a boutique Phoenix law firm that specializes in corporate legal
counsel services, business transactions, representation before government agencies,
and campaign finance and election law advice.
For companies involved in research and development, patents play an important role in protecting novel products and processes from being developed, used or sold by another business. Patents are issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
Another type of patent, the Statutory Invention Registration (SIR), was repealed in 2013 by the America Invents Act. (The SIR had previously replaced the Defensive Publication (DEF).)
Utility and design patents issued today have a term of 20 years. The term of a design patent is currently 14 years, but the USPTO notes that this term is expected to change in the near future.
No, a patent can be applied for and issued to (or in the name of) only the inventor or inventors.
It takes about two years for the patent process to be completed.
Patent pending is used by inventors to let the public (including other businesses) know that there is a patent on file with the USPTO. During the patent pending period, you do have some protection against infringement. If you suspect infringement, you should consult a patent attorney immediately.
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