How To File A Patent – It’s Not As Easy As You Think
You’ve created the answer to most pressing problem in human history! Or, at least, in your neighborhood. Now you’ve got to get you to protect your idea, but do you know how to file a patent? Let’s look at the steps you’ll need to patent your brilliance.
The first thing is to recognize that each country has its own patent office and that if you plan on offering your product or service or idea in multiple countries you need to apply for the patents in those areas. For our example, let’s say you’re trying to patent an idea in the United States.
How To File A Patent – First Things First
Before you even apply for patents, you need to determine if your idea is patentable. You can’t just patent an idea because you want to. You have to show that the idea is new in some way; that it is different from current ideas, and that it functions in a different manner.
You want to conduct a thorough patent search to determine if your concept is already patented. This hold true whether you want to learn how to patent an invention, how to patent an idea, or how to patent a name.
Search U.S. patent databases as well as pertinent foreign country databases if applicable. You will benefit from acquiring professional help during this process, but you can do a lot of the preliminary legwork yourself – you are the most familiar with your invention and the markets that you want to compete in – a professional can make sure you cover every base.
How To File A Patent – Keep Good Records Of Everything
You want to have drawings and diagrams prepared that detail your invention. If you are not a draftsman or an artist, consider hiring a professional for the job. At a certain point you might even consider building a prototype. But it’s not just the invention itself that you want to document carefully. It’s best to keep a record of times and dates of developments, conversations, correspondence, and anything that impacts the invention.
How To File A Patent – It’s Time To Apply
Once you have narrowed down your idea, and believe it to be new and different, apply for the patent. The US Patent Office website has instructions online you can review. In your search you’ll more than likely find inventions similar to your idea. The burden is on you to show your concept is different.
You can file a provisional patent application or a regular patent application. The provisional patent application allows you to claim patent pending status but is not a full application. The fee is lower and your drawings can be an informal representation. However, you do need to go back and file a full application within one year.
How To File A Patent – Time To Pony Up
You need to pay a fee (as of this writing) of around $400 for independent inventors (and companies with less than 500 employees). For larger firms it can run upwards of $750 and more. If you are on a budget, keep in mind that you need to pay even more fees when the patent is issued. And that is still not all – you have to pay fees to keep it in force until its expiration date.
With the amount of work involved, the considerable time investment, not to mention the ongoing fees at various stages, learning how to obtain a patent is not a casual undertaking. However, if you truly believe your idea will improve the world, putting forth the effort and learning how to file a patent will be worth it.