Can I do a patent search myself?
Start at uspto.gov/patft. Next, under the heading Related USPTO Services, click on Tools to Help Searching by Patent Classification. You can now start searching. Patent searches may also be done at google.com/patents and at a number of other free sites.
Can you sell a product without a patent?
No. You are not required to obtain a patent in order to sell a product or service embodying your invention. Many products and services are sold that are not patented. A U.S. patent provides the right to stop others from making marketing, selling, or importing your invention in the United States.
How do I protect an idea without a patent?
If you determine that the invention is probably not patentable, the most effective way to protect yourself is to have prospective licensees sign a nondisclosure agreement before you reveal your invention. This document is sometimes called an “NDA” or a “confidentiality agreement,” but the terms are similar.
What is something that Cannot be patented?
a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business, or a computer program, a presentation of information, a procedure for surgical or therapeutic treatment, or diagnosis, to be practised on humans or animals.
What Cannot be patented in the United States?
You may not patent an invention if: Your claimed invention is already patented. Your claimed invention is in a printed publication. Your claimed invention is available to the public before your filing date.
Can you claim an abandoned patent?
The owner of an abandoned patent application in the US can petition to have it revived on the basis that the non-response causing the abandonment was unintential. If it is not revived then you or anyone else could make, sell, and import the invention. You can’t file a patent that you think are abandoned or expired.
Can you keep a patent secret?
While a well-kept trade secret could theoretically be kept indefinitely, it’s important to recognize that it is perfectly legal to reverse engineer or copy a trade secret. A patent may only last 20 years, but during that era, the protection is stronger: independent invention is no defense in a patent suit.
What happens to an abandoned patent?
When a patent application is abandoned, prosecution stops and the application will not mature into an issued patent. As a consequence, the patent applicant will not obtain a patent grant, which would otherwise provide federal rights to preclude others from practicing the invention sought to be patented.
What happens to a patent after 20 years?
In the United States, a patent protects the inventor for 20 years from the filing date of the earliest application for patent protection. After this period, the invention passes into the public domain, and this can result in a dramatic loss of income for the company or individual who previously held the patent.