Learn how to protect your ideas

Discover why you need a patent, learn how to obtain a patent, and connect with the professionals to make it happen.

Your resource for patent information

Your resource for patent information


What Is a Patent?

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right for a limited time preventing anyone from making, using, selling, or importing the invention into the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does a Patent Last?

Every patent has a limited life span and will eventually expire. The purpose of the patent system is to promote development in science. To encourage innovation, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rewards inventors with a patent for their invention. This patent allows the inventor to make money from the invention without competition…

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How Much Does a Patent Cost?

The final price tag on applying for a patent will vary and is based on fees from multiple sources. If you are considering filing for a patent, it is important to understand where these costs come from, and how to navigate them successfully. Costs can be broken down into two categories: Fees charged by the…

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Can You Patent Something That Already Exists?

Technically you can’t patent an existing product, however, the rules were written in a way to allow for future innovation. That means there are ways to get around the regulations. In order to patent something that already exists, you must either: Find a new use for it, or Find a new way to combine existing…

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What Happens When a Patent Expires?

Patents are powerful tools inventors can use to protect their innovation. However, patents don’t last forever, and it is important for inventors to understand why patents expire and how to prepare for it. When a patent expires all the rights granted to the patent holder expire with it. The holder can no longer prevent others…

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Meet the Expert

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Sheldon Brown
Patent Expert

Sheldon Brown / Patent Expert

Sheldon received his training of the patent system at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. He works with universities and consultants to provide analytics and guidance for technology commercialization from patents.