As the digital economy continues to drive innovation and new business models, we see more and more startups turn to patent protection for their innovations. This is unsurprising given that IP can be a valuable asset for any company seeking to protect its technology investment, especially in industries such as software and the digital economy where protecting inventions is essential. In response to this growing demand, Heimlich Law, PC has created an informational series focusing on patents and other intellectual property rights. We’ll be looking at patent case studies from all industries – from retail to technology – so you can see how this legal protection could work for your business or personal projects.

What a Patent Can’t Protect.

Often people come to us to patent an idea.  An idea CANNOT be patented. However, the implementation of an idea CAN be patented.  A simple example may suffice to show the distinction.  “I want to patent the idea of moving through the air.” – it can’t be patented; however, “I have an apparatus comprising wings with flaps connected to a fuselage having an engine with a propeller.” – this IS patentable. 

Have a Question?​

What Is a Patent?

A patent is a grant of rights to intellectual property that protects inventions in most countries around the globe. Countries’ entities grant it on the basis that the invention is novel, non-obvious, and practical. Patents have a limited lifespan (in the US 20 years after filing), after which the invention enters the public domain. A patent is different from a copyright which protects an original expression, because a patent protects the underlying process or method. Getting a patent allows the owner to exclude others from making, selling, and importing a product that is covered by the patent claims in the country where the patent is granted/valid.
In exchange for these exclusive rights, the patent owner agrees after the patent expires to let the patent enter the public domain where others can use the process/method disclosed. Patent rights, therefore, have nothing to do with ownership of the actual invention; it is about using the patent to stop other people from using your processor methods disclosed in the patent. Patents are the most expensive form of IP protection; however, they also have the potential to be extremely valuable. Patents are important for protecting your IP and can also be used to prevent others from infringing on your rights.


Patents are one of the most valuable forms of intellectual property protection available. For over 20 years, Mr. Heimlich has written patents for his clients. Heimlich Law PC, located in Silicon Valley, has real-world experience in handling all sorts of IP matters. Contact us whether you’re a company or an individual looking to protect your inventions.
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