Let’s start with what a patent does. A patent does not protect a mere idea, theory or concept. Patents protect certain explicit and tangible inventions.
Now, there are two primary patent strategies.
The first is what patent attorneys call an “offensive patent strategy.” An ‘offensive patent strategy’ seeks to protect the actual invention that the business or American Inventor is going to practice. So if an inventor develops a better mouse trap, the inventor may want to prevent others from making or selling the same mousetrap.
The second is what patent attorneys call a “defensive patent strategy.” A ‘defensive patent strategy’ seeks to prevent others from practicing inventions that may compete with the invention that the American Inventor is going to practice himself. It may be similar or different. Let’s go back to the mousetrap example. . . The patent owner of the better mousetrap may think of a second mousetrap that may work as effectively or even better but for reasons such as manufacturing costs, etc., the patent owner prefers to stay with the original patented product. But the inventor doesn’t want someone else to practice the second mousetrap. By obtaining a patent on the second mousetrap the inventor prevents someone else from practicing the second mousetrap.
Is a U.S. Patent good in all 50 states?
Yes, a U.S. Patent is national patent. It is good across the U.S. No. A U.S. Patent protects inventions in the U.S. only. Although an invention covered by a U.S. Patent can be produced in another country, it can not be imported or sold in the U.S. If foreign protection is desired, you can discuss the PCT process with your patent attorney or a patent agency, like InventHelp.
“Patent pending” is a phrase often marked on products, indicating that a patent application is pending with claims that cover the marked product or process. The purpose of marking a product as “patent pending” is to give notice to potential imitators that a patent may issue.
What is the difference between an Invention Promoter and a Patent Attorney?
An invention promoter may offer a variety of business marketing services to promote an invention. Invention promoters are generally not licensed attorneys and are generally not licensed by a state bar or the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While there are honest business and marketing groups, an American inventor may want to check an invention promoter’s success rate or whether complaints have been filed against the invention promoter. An invention promoter should not give legal advice to an inventor about how to protect an invention without the proper license. This is called practicing without a license and is very bad.
In contrast, a patent attorney helps identify and patent inventions. A patent attorney is licensed by both a state bar and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A patent attorney can help patent an invention, register a trademark and prepare legal documents such as license agreements and confidential disclosure agreements as described in https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/inventhelp.
If someone is practicing an invention that is covered by a U.S. patent that someone is committing patent infringement. That someone may be sued in court.