MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – With so many ideas and inventions surfacing throughout the country, we spoke with a local us patent attorney located in Marquette to find out what it takes to obtain a patent.
Registered US patent attorney, Glenn Smith of Bessinger, Cotant & Menkes, P.C., has been practicing patent law for over 30 years, making him quite an expert in this niche of the law. According to Smith the first patent act came out of Venice and is dated all the way back to the 1400s and he further explained, “Patent is a Latin term for to disclose or to open up. And a patent is the concept is an inventor disclosing to the world his new invention.”
Acquiring a patent gives the inventor exclusive use, the right to sell and offer the invention for 20 years from the date of the patent application. Protecting the inventor with their inventions, processes and scientific creations once meeting the minimal requirement of obtaining one said Smith and he told us, “It’s got to be useful in that it has some utility in the world and what we what we do and the way we live, then it’s got to be novel in the sense that it’s got to be something that someone else is not come close to inventing.”
Smith said if somebody could look at the invention and say, “I thought about that” or I have already been following that process,” this challenges the uniqueness making it no longer patentable. This gives good reason to why seeking the guidance of an expert can help avoid unforeseen hurdles that an inventor may not have considered. And he said, “Getting a patent isn’t the most difficult thing. Protecting a patent is that can be more difficult.”
According to Smith, if somebody thinks you are making a significant amount of money with the exclusivity that’s held by a patent, they are going to attempt to create tweaked product knock offs infringing on the patent and oftentimes, ending up in court.
With all the complexities around patenting an idea, it’s important for inventors to know and understand these laws and how they work.