Important information before submitting a patent application

Glenn W. Peterson

If you are an entrepreneur in a field in which you are likely to develop truly unique and new products, you will want to understand how you can protect your inventions from being stolen or reproduced illegally. Many other California individuals and companies face this issue every day. There are a variety of types of intellectual property protections available and it is important for you to know which is appropriate to your situation.

As explained by the United States Government, a patent is intended to safeguard your original invention by preventing others from replicating it for a period of time. This gives you time to get your product to market and establish a solid leadership position before competitors are able to enter the scene. Not every invention may be eligible for a patent, however.

In order to qualify for a patent, an invention must be truly useful, completely unique and something not obvious to others. It is recommended that you search the list of existing patents to ensure there are no duplicate or like patents granted before applying for a patent for your invention. You will need to submit a detailed design or a functional model of your invention along with your application. Patents may be granted for utility, plants or designs.

If you would like to learn more about the process of applying for and receiving a patent to protect your invention and intellectual property assets, please feel free to visit the inventor’s protection page of our California intellectual property and patent website.