7 Easy Steps to a Patent for Your Huge Thought


Obtained an thought for an amazing invention rattling round in your mind? To make sure you have unique rights to your large thought for 20 years, you’ll have to get a patent.

Nevertheless, the patent software course of will be complicated and costly. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace has a webpage devoted to the patent process, however until you converse “authorities,” it may be laborious to wade by means of.

So, we’ve damaged it down and simplified the steps for you.

Step 1: Know your choices

There are 3 ways to file for a patent:

  • DIY patent purposes wherein you do every thing your self.
  • Third-party software program that walks you thru the method for a price.
  • Patent attorneys who cost an arm and a leg however could also be value the fee.

If you wish to go the DIY route, you’ll be able to nonetheless get assist. There are Patent and Trademark Resources Centers in just about each state, and the employees at these facilities can present free steerage on the patent course of. Nevertheless, don’t count on them to have the ability to reply authorized questions or fill out an software in your behalf.

Third-party software program can stroll you thru the method. Consider it as TurboTax for patents. They could ask you a sequence of questions, then fill in an software template and submit it electronically in your behalf. Nolo and LegalZoom are two web sites providing this service for a price.

Lastly, there are the massive weapons: patent attorneys. These professionals aren’t low cost, however when you assume your thought has large moneymaking potential, chances are you’ll wish to rent one. A patent lawyer will make certain all the main points are right and cut back the possibilities of another person sweeping in and stealing your thought on a technicality.

Whereas an lawyer could make the patent software course of straightforward in your finish, count on to pay hundreds for his or her companies.

That stated, people assembly sure earnings and invention necessities could also be eligible for a free lawyer by means of the nationwide Patent Pro Bono Program.

Should you resolve to make use of an lawyer, you’ll be able to skip right down to Step 6. Your lawyer will deal with it. For everybody else, maintain studying.

Step 2: Search present patents

When you resolve to go the DIY route or use a fill-in-the-blanks software program program, the next step is to look present patents to see in case your thought is already taken.

You possibly can search for existing patents on the USPTO website. Word that the workplace has a 38-minute tutorial on tips on how to conduct a search. That will appear to be a very long time to spend on a tutorial, however it’s in all probability higher than making an attempt to decipher the search choices and outcomes by yourself.

Should you don’t discover a patent in your thought, transfer on to Step 3. However first, verify that your idea is indeed patentable. Patentable gadgets fall into these classes:

  • Course of
  • Machine
  • Article of manufacture
  • Composition of matter
  • Enchancment to any of the above

Nevertheless, your patent thought have to be nonobvious and helpful, which implies gadgets with no discernible objective aren’t eligible. You possibly can’t patent an summary thought, murals, regulation of nature or bodily phenomenon.

Step 3: Resolve whether or not to reveal your thought first

Up to now, the primary individual to create an invention or provide you with a patentable thought was entitled to the patent. All that was wanted was for the applicant to supply documentation of the invention date, which may very well be so simple as jotting the thought and date in a pocket book and having a witness signal the web page.

That changed in 2011 with the passage of the America Invents Act. Underneath the brand new regulation, the patent now goes to the one that recordsdata first, until another person has already publicly disclosed the thought. In that case, the one that has printed the thought has one yr to file for a patent.

Should you assume another person would possibly soar in your thought, however you’re not fairly able to file for a patent, you may publish your idea on a weblog or elsewhere within the public sq.. An alternative choice can be to file a provisional patent, which additionally provides you a yr to show your software right into a closing, nonprovisional one.

Step 4: Full the patent software

Now we get right down to the nitty-gritty of the method: It’s time to fill out the paperwork and submit it for evaluation.

That is the place your patent lawyer earns his or her maintain, as a result of there isn’t a normal patent type.

At a minimum, a patent software should embody:

  • A written description of the invention.
  • A number of drawings, if wanted.

The extra actual you might be in your claims, the higher you’ll shield your invention. Nolo.com has some sample claims for common objects so you’ll be able to perceive how they’re structured. You may also view an example provisional patent at PatentFile.org.

Many purposes embody extra info than the minimal necessities. They could embody such gadgets as an summary, an oath from candidates testifying that they imagine themselves to be the unique inventor, and different literature.

While you’re able to file, ship in your software by means of the mail or file electronically. There may also be a filing fee, which relies on the kind of patent and your classification.

Then, it’s time to attend. It will possibly take two to 3 years or extra for the USPTO to evaluation a nonprovisional patent software and make a closing willpower. A restricted variety of expedited applications are allowed annually as properly.

Keep in mind, in case your software is for a provisional patent, you solely have a yr to complete the method and submit your nonprovisional software.

Step 5: File a request for reconsideration, if wanted

Greater than 90 p.c of patent purposes are rejected initially, in line with Inventorprise Inc. Widespread rejection causes embody:

  • A couple of invention included on an software.
  • Invention is already topic to an present patent.
  • Material is nonpatentable.
  • Invention is apparent, making it nonpatentable.
  • Incorrect claims language.

Should you obtain a rejection, you’ll be able to ship a reply with corrections or clarifications and ask for a reconsideration. If that doesn’t persuade the Patent Workplace to reverse its determination, you’ll be able to file an enchantment with the Patent Trial and Attraction Board.

Step 6: Pay authorities charges

When you obtain discover from the federal government that your patent software has been accepted, it’s time to pay up and ship within the difficulty price. (Right here’s a fee schedule.) Should you haven’t already, you’ll additionally have to submit an oath or declaration that you simply imagine your self to be the unique inventor of the merchandise.

Step 7: Obtain your patent

Whew! You’re executed!

The patent will final for 20 years from the date it’s granted and permit you unique rights to fabricate and market your product. However don’t overlook to pay the required maintenance fees. They’re due 3½, 7½ and 11½ years after the patent is issued.

Have you ever utilized for a patent earlier than? Share your expertise within the feedback beneath or on our Facebook page.

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