Q: I have a lock I designed that protects the factory ignition on a motorcycle. How do I go about getting it patented?
I have a prototype already made. I have been searching for any locks that resemble mine and have found nothing like it. What do I do?
A: Speak with a patent attorney. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]
A: To protect your lock design, you should consider filing a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As a first step, conduct a thorough search to ensure your lock design is novel and not already patented. Then, consult with a patent attorney to guide you through the patent application process, ensuring all legal requirements are met under California and federal law. - James Arrasmith, Owner. The Law Offices of James L. Arrasmith.
You will need to submit a patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for consideration. You should contact a qualified patent attorney directly (this is just an anonymous question forum), and they will work with you to prepare and submit the application. Keep in mind that, if you have publicly disclosed the invention in any way (e.g., via your prototype), you generally have a one year window from that disclosure to file your application in the U.S.
The attorney can also help you conduct a search and review of the relevant prior art before doing so, if desired, in order to help you assess whether it will be worth the cost. Even if you don't see the product in the marketplace, there is often relevant prior art in the form of earlier patents or other publications, and a professional search will usually uncover these.
A: Get on this quick. You need to have a patent in process within a year of disclosure of the ignition lock. You could either file a patent yourself through USPTO.gov or get a patent agent or attorney to help you with that. Filing is the first thing you need to do and if you're not perfect, you can amend it later so long as you preserve your priority.
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