Ask an Expert
Expert: Glen M. Perinot
L. Kelly asked:
I have several inventions that need protection. Everyone tells me that pet products are not patentable. A trademark doesn't seem to be what I need either.What will give me the protection necessary?
Glen M. Perinot answered:
I don't necessarily believe that pet products are not patentable. Nevertheless, without further details it is difficult to ascertain what elements of your “invention” you are trying to protect. For example, if you are merely trying to protect the esthetic elements of your design, your best course of action may be to pursue industrial design protection.
Just what is an industrial design. An industrial design generally refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination thereof) applied to some finished product. An industrial design may be the shape of lamp, the overall appearance of a table or the ornamental aspects thereof. To be eligible for registration your design must be original.
On the other hand if you wish to protect the useful functions or features of your invention then patent protection may be your best option. A patent basically is a right that is granted by the government to the inventor to exclude others from making, using or selling your invention from the day the patent is granted to a maximum of 20 years after the day on which the patent application was filed.
To be eligible for patent protection, your invention must (1) novel; (2) useful and (3) non-obvious and inventive. Your invention can include a number of things from a product, apparatus, a process or methodology, to an improvement of an already established invention.
A patent is granted only for the physical embodiment of an idea. You cannot patent a scientific principle, an abstract theorem, an idea, a method of doing business, a computer program, or a medical treatment. A patent gives its owner exclusive rights over a claimed invention. The owner can prevent others from making, using or selling the patented invention in exchange for full disclosure of the claimed invention.
I trust that you will find this information useful. Nevertheless, this information only touches upon the basics and I would suggest that you contact a qualified intellectual property lawyer to further explore your options for protection of you invention.
About the author
Glen M. Perinot is a technology and intellectual property lawyer working at the law firm of Heydary Hamilton P.C. Click here for Glen’s C.V.