If you come up with a new and innovative invention, your next step will be to know how to get a patent for your product. Surprisingly, the steps of how to get a patent are quite straightforward, but the process can be complicated. Some actions are more difficult than others, but can be simplified by taking one step at a time. Your options are to patent it yourself or the recommended way to filing a patent would be to hire a patent attorney or agent.
Qualifying The Invention
The first step to obtain a patent is making sure that your invention is patentable. Remember, you cannot patent an idea; rather, your patent application must be for a tangible product. You will also be required to create a full description of your invention. It must detail how it’s made, what it does, and drawings or prototypes. If you are unable to do this, you may need to retain the services of professionals to help you get a patent.
Be Organized And Keep Records
Staying organized is not to be overlooked getting a patent. Keeping precise records during the patent application process can assist you greatly when searching for needed information. Communications with the PTO should be dated and filed. Every step you take in your invention should be documented and witnessed. This helps you organize your thoughts and provides a timeline that shows you were first in line.
A Patent Can Be Very Costly
You will need to take into consideration if the financial investment is worth the protection you’ll receive from getting a patent. Keep in mind that it will cost into the thousands to file a patent application. This number will be higher if you need the assistance of a patent professional. It doesn’t stop there as you will constantly pay maintenance fees and cost for litigation for the entire term of the patent. The cost to get a patent is a business decision and research should be done prior to investing large sums of money and time.
Perform A Patent Search
If you are new to the concept of how to get a patent, conducting a patent search will tell you if there is any patented invention that is similar to yours. If there is prior art referenced this will disqualify you from getting a patent. You can do a patent search online or at a Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL), which houses copies of U.S patents available for public viewing .
File Your Application
Finally, you are now ready for actually filing the patent application. This is a time-consuming and detail-oriented process and can take months and even years to complete. You will have the option of filing a Provisional Patent Application or a Regular Patent Application. A provisional patent is less expensive and requires less information. A Regular Patent Application is much more involved and requires you to submit more information to be approved.
There is a lot of knowledge required to learn how to get a patent. The guidelines seem clear and to the point, but the legal terminology and research needed can complicate the process. Once you filed the application and received approval all that is left is to pay the appropriate fees.