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您準備好申請專利了嗎?

美國專利及商標局(United States Patent and Trademark Office,簡稱PTO或USPTO)是美國商務部下的一個機構,為發明家和他們發明的產品提供專利保護、商標註冊和知識產權證明。專利持有人在法律保護的一段時期內,擁有獨有的權利去製造,使用,以及銷售其發明的產品。雖然申請專利會是一項比較複雜的法律程序, 但是對於其發明者和其發明的產品提供相關的法律保護卻是很有必要的。美國專利商標局對於提出的申請案皆會自動對其進行實體審查,確定申請者滿足相關條件後,才會承認其專利。所以

在申請專利前,我們應該考慮以下問題: 

 

 

  1. 什麼樣的發明可以申請專利?

美國專利法第101條明確規定了任何人「發明或者發現了任何新穎的,實用的方法、機器、製造產品或化合物,或其任何新穎的,實用的改進方法或理論,都有可能包含了專利。」所謂的發明物品,必須是實用的,有功能的,並且是有用途的才可申請專利。很重要的一點需要大家意識到的是,專利權是有有效期限的,在一定時期過後其私有專利便會成為公共產權。

發明專利(Utility Patent)和外觀設計專利(Design Patent)是專利的兩個主要類型。 發明專利包含程序,機械產品,組成等。 其中「程序」被定義為包括技術程序的方法,「機器產品」是執行和採取行動的新工具或者發明,「生產」則代表產品是如何製成的。由於發明專利的保護範圍很廣,所以有時候很難避免侵權事件的產生。發明專利是由專利中的權利項所界定,只要競爭對手的產品在權利項所界定的保護範圍中,即使產品不與專利內容部分所描述的發明(發明的實施例)一模一樣,仍可能夠成侵權。

外觀設計專利保護的範圍主要限定在專利中所繪示出的物品外觀部分,並不能保護其產品的實用性。由於對手很容易經由改變設計而迴避外觀設計專利,因此,相較於發明專利,外觀設計專利的保護範圍顯得較狹窄和困難。有些發明實物需要一起申請外觀設計專利和發明專利,但是兩項專利必須分開申請。 因此大家需要理解不同的發明需要申請不同的專利以獲得保護。

  1. 我的發明是新發明嗎?

根據美國專利法,只有新發明才有資格申請專利。美國專利法對新發明的定義是尚未申請專利的產品,或者已經公開但還沒有申請專利的產品。 申請專利的實物必須之前沒有過任何專利衝突。

發明人應在決定申請專利前,進行其發明可專利性的檢索以及評估專利獲准的機會,從而避免將時間與金錢浪費在不具有專利性的發明上。應自己考慮一下是什麼原因能讓你的發明獨樹一幟? 明確自己的發明如何標新立異,會有利於加大其產品在申請專利過程中的成功機率。

  1. 我發明的產品是否足夠新奇?

所謂的發明創造不僅僅要求「新」, 而且還需要具備獨特的特質。這意味著市場上的其他產品不具備你所發明產品的特質。即使有時候你申請的專利產品和市場上的產品有一個甚至更多的不同點, 你的專利申請表格有時候也會被拒絕。 所以相同功用的產品在申請專利時,最好有多處明顯的不同點。並且產品的創新對於沒有專業知識的一般人必須是不明顯的。其實物必須具有相關產品找不到的特質。你需要闡述你的發明是如何的別具一格, 創新立異。

  1. 我準備好填寫專利申請表了嗎?

在美國,申請人可以先遞交一個臨時申請,該申請可以是說明書及附圖,甚至可以只是揭露發明的幾張草圖和手稿。申請人只要在一年內以該臨時申請為優先權遞交正式申請,就可以享有臨時申請的優先權申請日。申請人需要提供發明產品的實驗證明以及實驗過程記錄。 作為一個發明人,記錄下創新實踐的細節是很重要的。為了能夠提高專利申請的通過機率,發明家需要能夠證明其產品是創新的,改革的,並且是標新立異的。因此聯繫一名專業的律師來協助完成這一整個專利申請過程也是很有幫助的。

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I have been working on my Utility Patent for almost 4 years. I have hired and fired two very reputable IP firms because with all their expertise and reputation for being some of the top firms in IP Law, I felt a lack of connection and care in my product, time and financial investment. Then I found Tommy and his team. Tommy does not waste time. He and his team are professional and extremely thorough. After 4 years, I finally found a legal team that I felt spent the time to really understand the components of my utility patent. Tommy also very mindful of cost and how and where my money would be better spent. I really feel I am in great hands with Tommy and his team. They have been patient with my revisions. And most importantly, they made me feel that they fully understood the importance this patent is to me. It has been a great and comforting pleasure working with Tommy.

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