Patents protect inventions.  In the US, a patent is a novel, non-obvious idea that has a practical application. There are 3 types of patents – utility, design and plant [1].

Utility patents, the most typical type, involve an apparatus, machine, process or method that has a practical application.  See 35 U.S.C. § 101.

Patent law is changing substantially under the America Invents Act (opens a PDF).  The most substantive provisions of the act go into effect 18 months after September 16, 2011 (the date of enactment of the AIA), which is March 16, 2013.  Bowie & Jensen attorneys are fully versed in the effect of this law on all aspects of patent practice, from prosecution, advice on retaining trade secret protection, licensing, valuation, and freedom to operate considerations.

Design patents relate to novel and non obvious aesthetic elements of design, and cannot protect functional aspects of a device or product. Plant patents cover inventions related to new forms of biological plants.

Patent applications may only be filed by persons registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office – patent lawyers, and patent agents. Bowie & Jensen is not a patent invention promotion company.  We provide legal services related to patents, and do not solicit or locate manufacturing or marketing opportunities.

[1] We do not prosecute plant patents.

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