The US government grants patent exclusive right in exchange for the full and complete disclosure of the invention so that when the patent term has expired all of the public may freely enjoy the benefits of the invention.
“Make, use and sell” – what does that mean?
In everyday language: you own it, you can license it to a company, sell it, take legal action to prevent others from using it, it’s your property.
Can I patent my idea?
Patents are not granted for “ideas” per se, however, you usually can’t obtain a patent without a good idea. Patents are granted for novel and not obvious compositions of matter, processes and methods, instruments, machines, software driving machines, etc. US patent law recognizes that you may conceive an invention (i.e., an idea) but that you also then need to reduce the invention to practice (i.e., make a “working example”). There are professional patenting agencies, such as InventHelp, that could help you in the process.
Recognizing that not everyone has unlimited resources, provision is made for the “working example” to be an “actual” working example (e.g., a machine, or a set of experimental results, etc.) or the working example can be “constructive”, in this case, a prophetic best guess of how to perform the experiment or put together the machine, as well as, what results would be obtained in the process. Unfortunately, if a prophetic example is defective in some unforeseen manner, you may either lose your bid for a patent in the patent office, or your patent may be found invalid.
If you are involved in a tight competition and your competitor “actually” reduces the same invention to practice shortly after your prophetic patent application filing, then the competitor may prevail in the patenting process and you may not. Thus, in a tight race deciding when and what to include in a patent application can be critical. Therefore, hiring a professional patenting company, like Invent Help, would be advisable.
Can private individuals apply for a patent
In the United States inventors, not companies, make the application for a patent. If the employer has legal rights to the invention, the employee/inventor assigns his/her rights in the invention to the employer by executing an “Assignment”, i.e., an assignment of rights in the patent document to the employer. Assignment documents are filed in the US Patent and Trademark Office, recorded and then returned to the owner. If there are two or more inventors each acquires complete undivided rights in the patent, i.e., either inventor can make, use or sell the invention.