The great outdoors is not normally a place where one would assume that intellectual property protection would matter much, but that could not be further from the truth. Almost all outdoor and sporting goods products — guns and ammo, bows and arrows, fishing rods and lures, tents and sleeping bags — are protected by intellectual property of some form. Many of the innovations in this area were first dreamed up by ordinary hunters and fishermen who had good ideas about how to improve the products they used and went on to obtain patent protection on them. If you have a good idea for a new hunting, fishing, or sporting good product, an Alabama patent attorney can help you obtain patent protection for it.
Hunting, Fishing, and Sporting Goods Are Patentable
Almost all inventions are potentially patentable, including hunting, fishing, and sporting goods. To obtain a patent on an invention, the invention must be either completely new or an improvement on an existing invention. While you may have come up with a product that you believe to be a brand new invention, the more likely scenario is that you have devised an improvement to an existing product.
Patents come in two primary varieties:
- Utility patents: Protect the way a product functions
- Design patents: Protect the way a product looks
Hunting, fishing, and sporting goods products could fall into either category. For example, if you have invented a fishing lure with a modified hook that is less likely to pierce the fisherman’s fingers, that lure may be eligible for a utility patent. If you have designed a range of fishing lures on a particular theme — say, a set of lures that look like different shark species — those lures may be eligible for design patents.
How to Get a Patent on Hunting, Fishing, and Sporting Goods
The process of obtaining a patent on an invention is known as patent prosecution. Generally, it is a back-and-forth process between you and a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Once you submit your patent application, your examiner (who is an expert in the field of your invention) will assess it and likely reject it for a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons patent applications get rejected initially is because the invention at issue is not different (or “novel”) enough from existing inventions to qualify for patent protection. However, you can always amend your application to address the patent examiner’s concerns. Once your patent examiner is satisfied that your invention meets the requirements for patentability, the USPTO will issue you a patent.
Contact an Alabama Patent Attorney if You Have a Great Idea for a Fishing, Hunting, or Sporting Good Patent
The best way to ensure that you successfully obtain patent protection on your invention is to get help from an experienced patent attorney who knows the ins and outs of patent prosecution. For more information about getting a patent for your invention, please contact an Alabama patent attorney at AdamsIP by calling 251-289-9787 or by using our online contact form.