Before submitting an application to the Georgia PATENTS program, you must read all the information below. Failure to meet the required standards will result in non-admission to the program.
Additionally, placement with a volunteer patent practitioner is at the sole discretion of the program administrator. Failure to be kind, courteous, and respectful to Georgia Lawyers for the Arts staff, Georgia PATENTS staff, or a volunteer patent practitioner will result in expulsion from the program and/or denial of future services from Georgia Lawyers for the Arts and Georgia PATENTS.
Qualifications for Inventor(s)
Georgia PATENTS supports solo inventors, non-profits, and small businesses. Each category of applicant has different requirements to qualify for assistance from our organization, but each typically has to show:
- Number of Inventors;
- Ownership Interest; and
- Number of Patents Previously Filed.
Solo Inventors Qualifications
To qualify as a Solo Inventor:
- Number of Inventors: there must be 1 known inventor for the invention;
- Residency: the inventor must reside in Georgia or South Carolina;
- Income: the inventor must have a total household income of less than 300% of the federal poverty guidelines;
- Ownership Interest: the inventor must not be under an obligation to assign (sell or give ownership of) the patent rights to a third party; and
- Number of Patents Previously Filed: the inventor must not have filed 4 or more patent applications with the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
To qualify as a Non-Profit:
- Number of Inventors: there must be no greater than 4 known inventors of the invention;
- Assignment to Organization: each inventor must agree to assign his/her rights to the non-profit;
- Type of Non-Profit: the non-profit must not be research institutions or institutions of higher learning;
- Residency: the non-profit must be a domestic corporation with 501(c)(3) status established in either Georgia or South Carolina;
- Income: the non-profit must have a budget of less than $1 million dollars per year; and
- Ownership Interest: the non-profit must not be under an obligation to assign (sell or give ownership of) the patent rights to a third party.
Small Business / Inventor Group Qualifications
To qualify as a Small Business / Inventor Group:
- Number of Inventors: there must be no more than 4 known inventors for the invention;
- Assignment to Organization: each inventor must agree to assign his/her rights to the business;
- Qualify Individually:
- Individual Residency: each inventor must reside in Georgia or South Carolina;
- Individual Income: each inventor must have a total household income of less than 300% of the federal poverty guidelines;
- Individual Number of Patents Previously Filed: each inventor must not have filed 4 or more patent applications with the United States Patent & Trademark Office;
- Previous Year Business Income: if the business was operating in the preceding calendar year, the business must have had a total gross income of less than $150,000;
- Projected Business Income: the business must expect a total gross income of less than $150,000 in the current calendar year; and
- Ownership Interest: the business must not be under an obligation to assign (sell or give ownership of) the patent rights to a third party.
The Invention Must be Patent Eligible
What are Patent Eligible Inventions? Inventions are a “process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof,” an ” ornamental design for an article of manufacture,” or an asexually reproduced “plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.” These inventions qualify for Georgia PATENTS.
What are Not Patent Eligible Inventions? Some inventions may not qualify for a patent. Typically, these are products of nature, abstract ideas, laws of nature, natural phenomenon, business methods, and inventions that do not follow the laws of thermodynamics. Examples include: “Methods of detecting fraud in a credit card transaction”, “Methods and investment instruments for performing tax-deferred real estate exhanges”, “Antenatal screening for Down’s syndrome,” “Cloned mammals produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer” (note: the clone mammal cannot be patented, but a process of cloning might be patentable), and “Lipid-Containing compositions and methods of use thereof”, and perpetual motion / cold fusion devices. These inventions DO NOT qualify for Georgia PATENTS.
Also, Other Things That are Not Patent Eligible Include: Brands, business names, artwork, trademarks, t-shirt designs, board games, recipes, and so much more. These DO NOT qualify for Georgia PATENTS. For more information about these topics, go to https://glarts.org.
Invention Must be Reduced to Practice
The concept or invention must be “reduced to practice” to qualify for Georgia PATENTS. In the most simple terms, this means the inventor must have a physical manifestation of the invention. Specifically, Georgia PATENTS requires inventors to either:
- Create a working prototype; or
- Describe the invention in sufficient detail such that a person with ordinary skill in the relevant field could Make and Use the Invention without any outside assistance.
An idea is definite and permanent when the inventor has a specific, settled idea, a particular solution to the problem at hand, not just a general goal or research plan the inventor hopes to pursue.