Innovation & Invention in UAV Continues to Grow.
Patents provide an important form of protection for inventions relating to drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles/unmanned aircraft systems/remotely piloted vehicles). Newly designed drones, new methods of enhancing the operation of drones, and new applications/uses of drones are all eligible for patent protection. As the popularity and availability of drones for commercial and personal use continues to increase and the FAA continues to finalize the rules around the use of these drones, it becomes even more important for drone manufacturers and operators to understand how to protect the valuable intellectual property around drones and their various applications. The FAA’s proposed framework for drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), can be found at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/media/021515_sUAS_Summary.pdf.
Drone Patents Are Hot.
New patents for drone inventions continue to be issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on a weekly basis. For example, the Boeing Company was issued at least two drone patents this year. The first patent (U.S. 8,954,206) is entitled “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” and relates to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) able to harvest energy from updrafts and a method of operating an unmanned aerial vehicle. The second Boeing drone patent (US 9,010,678) is entitled “Rapid Deployment Air and Water Vehicle” and relates to a remotely operated flying drone that can transform into a submarine. Google was issued a patent (US 8,948,935) this year for a drone providing medical support by housing a medical support device within the drone, which is entitled “Providing a Medical Support Device via an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.” Numerous additional examples of drone patents can be viewed on the USPTO’s Patent Database found at http://patft.uspto.gov/.
The experienced attorneys at Traverse Legal can help you navigate through the complex areas of patent and drone law. Feel free to contact a Traverse Legal patent attorney today to conduct an initial patent assessment on your drone invention and to obtain patent strategy recommendations moving forward.