How To Get A Patent In 13 Steps
How To Get A Patent In 13 Steps
A patent restricts others from using, selling, importing or making your invention without your permission. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides patents for inventors. The process might be different in various states, but one has to file the needed paperwork to get a patent. The application process can be involving, and that is why we give you the below 13 steps to make it easy for you to get your patent.
- Understand your invention
This is the first step. You have to know the aspect of your invention that makes it new, useful or unique. You also need to consider its scope in terms of better ways you can make your invention work. Further, you can look at a broader application of your invention. These characteristics when considered will allow you to get a valuable patent.
- Research the invention
To get a patent, your idea should have absolute novelty. You as an investor should know how to teach the public to use your product. If a skilled person can learn how the invention works from public information, then the inventor does not deserve the exclusive rights. You have to seek for presentations, publications, patent application or other information that might overlap with your invention. You are expected to disclose such information to the United States patent and trademark office as failure to do so will disqualify your patent.
- Determine your patent category
The USPTO offers patents in three categories. The utility patent is for a new and original invention that has known benefits to the society. The patent protection for this category is 20 years. A design patent is for a design that has no use. The patent will last for 14 years after the filling of the application. A plant patent is for plant strains developed through scientific engineering, and it lasts for 20 years. If your invention is not in any of these categories, you might not be able to get a patent.
- File a provisional application
This serves as the proof that you are the inventor as at the date you file for the patent. You can then take some time maybe a year to file the actual patent. You can perfect and experiment with your prototype before getting the actual patent, but you cannot add anything new.
- Seek professional help
Coming up with your patent application can be tricky as the patent application has several parts that need to be filled. Each of these parts should be properly filled. If they are not, they can lead to your application being rejected due to formal or technical reasons. You can hire a patent lawyer, seek assistance for those who have gone through the process or ask advice from the USPTO office.
- Be aware of scams
Even as you seek professional help, be aware of scammers especially some online sites that offer a patent application for an upfront fee. They often take the money and leave you with no help. Some companies are worse as they might steal your idea. Search online for reputable firms such as Panda Patent that can help you with the right patent assistance.
- Have an offensive plan
A patent will act as a barrier to restrict others from using your product. However, others can come up with a way to commercialize your product. Before filling your application make sure you have a plan to market your idea first so you do not spend your money and time on something that will be of no use to you.
- Pick a filing method
The filling method you choose depends if you need immediate protection for the invention or if you want to make a formal patent claim. You can file a US Provision Patent Application or PPA that is faster to process and cheaper. You will be allowed to claim your patent pending about your invention. You can also file for a US Regular Patent Application or RPA that protects your invention for 14-20 years. You should be able to explain the invention manufacturing process, novelty and the parts that you want to be patented in case of an RPA.
- Fill out your application
Include the needed information such as the description of the invention; how the product works and how useful it will be to the society ensure you find a lawyer to look at it before you submit it.
- Provide information on the specification attachment
This part of the application contains the narrative including a description of the invention, alterations to the product, and the use of the product and how it is assembled and how it works. You should also include the drawings of your invention. They should be as technical as possible and emphasize the elements that can strengthen your case to get the patent. You can contact an artist to help you come with the right designs that have the needed specifications.
- Do not forget the oath
Every patent form usually requires an oath to be signed by you the creator of the patent. The oath also has some notes on the invention-creator.
- Fill the application
You can file the application electronically on the USPTO website or print the form and fill it manually before mailing it. However, electronic filing is cheaper and ensures your application gets to the USPTO immediately. You will also have to pay a fee depending on the type of application you have filled, and additional money will be required if your patent is successful.
- Wait for the approval of the patent
Patent approval can take time; sometimes it can take years. If your application is denied, do not proceed with the invention as this is considered a crime especially if your product has already been invented. You can, however, appeal the decision, make changes to your application, and resubmit.
No one wants to keep resubmitting his or her patent application. We suggest you seek professional help. Panda Patent will give you the right advice regarding your patent. Our experienced attorneys will also help you draft your patent application.