As research, development, and growth continues in new healthcare technologies and medical devices, the need to protect your medical device idea is crucial. Medical innovation occurs everywhere in places that are working to improve the delivery of medical services and improve patient outcomes. This need to innovate and improve current systems and techniques applies to everything from surgical instruments, implants, prostheses, to the equipment for use in hospitals and other caregiving situations, to the software that optimizes the systems and processes healthcare professionals use to care for patients.
Why You Need a Medical Device Patent
More than 20,000 new medical device patents were filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2014 and that number continues to grow. When a medical device is invented, an inventor will need to obtain a patent in order to protect his or her exclusive rights to the device. A medical patent is a type of patent that is given specifically for a medical design.
The time and expense required to bring a medical innovation to market is often greater than in other industries. For some products, difficulties during the patenting process can be due to the extended buying cycles and purchasing hurdles from hospitals and other medical establishments. There can be even greater hurdles for products that require regulatory approval, such as FDA approval that is typically required with medical devices, drugs, and biologics.
Due to the complexity of medical innovation in particular, it is especially important to have a detailed and strategic IP strategy from the start. For this strategy, you’ll want to work with an intellectual property attorney that can protect your creation.
Medical Device Patent Attorneys
The lawyers at Reilly Intellectual Property Law Firm can help you identify all the aspects of your medical device that are protectable under patent protection and will craft an appropriate strategy to get that protection.
Our attorneys are well-versed and experienced in obtaining, protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights pertaining to medical devices. We are skilled in assisting our clients with aspects of medical devices such as the following:
- Medical devices
- Electrical devices
- Telemedicine, and
- Many more
If you have created a medical device, you’ll want to work with an attorney that can explain patent law and lead you through the patenting process.
Patent law is part of intellectual property law and is protected under U.S. federal law. Patent law is the area of law that deals with an inventor’s exclusive right to use their own invention. Patent law protections aim to encourage the creation of new products and inventions through granting creators the legal right to use and profit from the inventions they create.
United States patent law is a part of U.S. federal law that comes directly from the United States Constitution as well as from federal laws passed early in United States history.
Holding a Patent
Once an inventor has created his or her invention, he or she will apply for a U.S. patent through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If the submitted application is accepted, the patent holder retains the exclusive right to use and profit from their product. The length of that patent is dependent upon the type of patent submitted for.
When someone holds a patent, that patent holder may challenge any person or corporation who tries to infringe on their patent rights. When a patent holder accuses another person or corporation of patent infringement, the dispute must be litigated. Patent attorneys help their clients apply for patents, enforce patents, and challenge any patent infringement if it happens.
The founders of the United States and early political leaders believed that a if a person invented a product, they had the right to own that invention, and thus wrote laws that would protect, and hopefully inspire, the creation of new products that would benefit society as a whole.
Under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has the power to establish a system for awarding patents in the United States. According to the Constitution, Congress may promote progress in science and the arts by allowing creators to have exclusive use of their products. Tile 35 of the United States code holds more specific laws for the U.S. patent system.
How a Medical Patent Lawyer Can Help?
An inventor is able to seek a medical patent without the aid of legal counsel. Doing so is not advised to due to the nature of patent law and the application process.
A medical patent lawyer will help you prepare and file the patent application. We help our clients:
- Understand whether his or her medical device is patentable
- Recognize common hurdles involved in receiving a patent
- Prepare and file a complete patent application
- Understand the next steps in the patent process.
- Receive both domestic and international patents
Our patent attorneys also provide services in regards to patent enforcement and protection from infringement.
The Application Process
To receive a patent, an applicant must file their request with the USPTO. It is always advised that you work with a patent attorney due to the intense process. The filing requirements are detailed and specific and the entire process can take as long as three years and cost as much as $30,000. The Manual of Patent Examination Procedure contains the rules for filing a patent application, but you’ll want to work with a patent attorney to prepare this.
Contained in a Patent Application
A patent application must contain the following:
- Title of the invention
- List of related patent applications
- Statement of federally funded research associated with the item
- Disclosure of joint research with any other individual or corporation
- Summary of the invention
- Detailed description of the invention
- Drawings that explain the item in detail
- Claim of patent
The patent application must be sufficiently detailed so that it allows a person with skill in the field to create and use the same product. The application must clearly define and distinguish what’s new about the item or process compared to what is already in existence. If the patent office denies a patent application, the applicant can seek to be reconsidered or they can appeal the denial to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. A rejected applicant may also bring their case to a court.
It should be noted that once you file for a patent, the process is not complete. Under United States patent law, when a person files for a patent the legal document, called a “provisional application” establishes an early filing date, but this does not mature into an issued patent until the applicant files for a regular non-provisional patent application within one year.
The provisional patent application can only be pending for 12 months prior to becoming abandoned. Thus, filing a non-provisional patent application that claims the benefit of the provisional application must be done within 12 months. Failure to do so may forfeit your rights to claim the benefit of provisional application. Such benefits of the provisional application include:
- ease of preparation,
- lower cost, and
- the ability to use the term “patent pending”
One you file for the provisional application you are able to use the term “patent pending.” This can only only be legally used when a patent application has been filed, and may have significant marketing advantages for your product.
Patent Infringement and Enforcement
If a patent holder has reason to believe someone has infringed on their rights, he or she has multiple avenues to pursue enforcement. The first step is to contact a patent law attorney. The patent holder is able to pursue a court action, seek financial remedy, file an injunction or seek the court’s powers of contempt.
A patent holder can also file a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission which will then investigate the claim. Two potential remedies are barring imports into the United States as well as the issuance of a cease and desist order for imports. Patent holders may pursue both ITC enforcement and legal remedies and it is always advised you work with an attorney skilled in patent law when seeking to protect your inventions.
Having prepared, filed, and prosecuted patent applications (domestic and foreign), our firm is highly respected for its knowledge and patent prosecution.
Our attorneys have experience in all areas of design patents, including:
- Patent Applications
- Patent Search
- Intellectual Property Patents
- Computer Patents
- Gaming Devices
- Medical Device Patents
- Medical Device Patents
- Patent Portfolio Management
- Patent Office Actions
- International Patents
- Patent Litigation
Reilly Intellectual Property Law Firm
Reilly Intellectual Property Law Firm provides patent services to protect the inventions that change and shape our world. We handle handles patents, trademarks, copyrights and licensing legal services in Denver. Our experienced attorneys provide strategic guidance, patent counseling and prosecution, new product clearance and licensing, as well as counsel regarding patent enforcement and how to avoid possible infringement issues.
Our patent attorneys actively and aggressively represent plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of proceedings before courts both domestically and internationally. We provide solutions that anticipate our client’s need to protect their intellectual property so that their business thrives. We would love to work with you to develop a dynamic strategy that addresses your patent, trademark, copyright, and licensing concerns.