The concept of patents is popular and applicable not just in the US, but around the world too. We survive in the age of intellectual property rights where patents play an important role in protecting new and innovative inventions. The protection of these inventions and exclusive innovations is required from the opinion of encouraging innovations. They prevent others from stealing the innovation and selling or manufacturing as a own. Patents are said by some stop the free flow of information and also hinder and inhibit competition, and are allowed for a time period 20 years of a filing of the patent with competent authorities. This is much more for the protection of the inventor, than a restriction of the free market.
When it in order to new inventions, one must be quite protective as well as careful too. This is because the business world can be quite a murky place, where corporate maneuvers are possible in the arena of patents and new product idea intellectual property rights. Patents represent technological strength that innovators must arm themselves with so as their innovation can be protected. One often how to invent a product makes use of special software to ensure that the patent being sought to be filed does not already exist. This is something that is independently verified by the patent attorney too before one files for a patent with the patent authorities.
There are some specific requirements of patents. For one, it has for proved that the invention is indeed unique and isn't an insignificant improvement over what existed earlier. Individual governments give patents to help the innovator because society. These patents help the innovator produce their invention on mass scale without fearing undue competition. These patents help to deter free riders and idea thieves who might steal necessary innovation without paying for R&D or making any effort.
It is needed that you file the patents before making the invention public. If it's disclosed prior to being implemented, it would not be granted a patent as one cannot how to obtain a patent patent ideas. But if you file a patent with sketches and descriptions of the invention duly notarized, the USPTO would accept it and hold it for a couple years.
Patents are merely for physical inventions as you can also patent a business method. These are part of the utility patents which protect chemical formulae and discoveries beyond inventions. In the past, these non physical and process or business method patents were neglected. The situation has changed now, with business method patents being tenable and maintainable.
Design patents are useful tool defend innovative designs in computer equipment and peripherals. New, original commercial designs for products can be protected relatively inexpensively, thereby preventing a competitor from making a product which looks identical to an active product. Design patents only cover an item's look or form. Design patents do NOT protect an idea or maybe invention, but rather only protect ornamental design of exactly what is pictured. This helps to ensure that they are weaker than a utility patent, but since they are VERY easy to lead should consider the actual round out your portfolio.