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  Who Can File A Patent application?
Any person in the world can file a patent application with the U.S.PTO. Some countries require that the inventors first file the patent application in the country in which they are domiciled.
In most countries, the patent belongs to the applicant who files the patent application first. This system is generally referred to as the "first to file" system. However, the United States follows the "first to invent" system where the first inventor is considered the owner of the invention if the owner can show proof of inventorship and due diligence in the filing of the application from the time it was invented to the time of filing of the patent application. This means that if the inventor was not the first to file a patent application for his inventive concept, he may still get a patent if he can show proof that he invented it first. The issue to note is that it is extremely difficult to meet this standard of proof and thus far easier to file a patent application at the earliest.
In the US, the patent issues to the inventor, not to the company where the inventor works. As part of the employment agreement companies enter into with employees, a company may require the inventor assign his rights and interest in the patent application and the patent that issues therefrom to the company.
An inventor may apply for either a provisional patent application or a non-provisional patent application. A provisional application is typically filed
to obtain a priority date of the inventive concept where the applicant has not perfected the complete invention or
where he wishes to explore the market for a year prior to converting the provisional application to a non-provisional application or
where the applicant lacks funding to file a non-provisional application or
to obtain 21 years of patent and patent pending protection
A provisional application is not examined by the U.S.PTO and expires one (1) year after it is filed. A common strategy applicants employ is to first file a provisional application for the inventive concept and obtain patent pending status. Then, a day before the provisional patent expires, file a non-provisional application claiming the benefit of the earlier filed provisional application.
After the filing of a provisional patent application or a non-provisional patent application, an applicant can mark his product "Patent Pending".
A patent application can be filed for:
A process or method (for example, a new method to manufacture concrete)
A machine (for example, a motor or circuitry)
A manufactured article (such as a tool or another object that accomplishes a result with or without no moving parts, such as a pencil)
A new composition (such as a new pharmaceutical).
A patent cannot be granted for a law of nature, a natural occurrence (mathematical formula, new species), a process that can entirely be performed by the human mind, or an abstract idea.
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