A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a government for a limited period of time to an inventor of a product or a process. The patent provides the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent, which is usually 20 years from the filing date of the patent. A patent does not give the inventor the right to make or use or offer to sell the invention as the invention may be covered by someone else's patent. The patent may be sold, licensed, mortgaged, assigned, given away or abandoned at the inventor's discretion.

Patents are granted and enforced by national laws and by international treaties which have been given effect by national laws. In the United States, only the inventor(s) may apply for a patent though the patent may be assigned to a corporate entity subsequently. Patents are granted by the national patent office which in the case of the United States is the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO). Patents are only useful for protecting the invention in the country where the patent is granted.

Patents are requested by filing an application describing the invention with the USPTO. The USPTO then reviews the patent application to determine if the application meets the patentability requirements of the United States. Patentability requirements include subject matter, novelty, utility and non-obviousness of the invention along with other prior art pertaining to the invention. If the patent application doesn't comply, objections are communicated back with the applicant given the right to respond. Ultimately, the patent application is either rejected or granted, which after the payment of certain fees, leads to an issued, enforceable patent.

The Law Offices of Ravi K. Nigam are committed to provide high quality affordable legal services that relate to intellectual property. Whether you seek protection, registration, enforcement, licensing or are defending a claim, we are able to provide you legal services every step of the way. Contact the Law Offices of Ravi K. Nigam today to obtain a legal consultation to discuss your intellectual property needs.