What Is the Patent Application Process? – 10 Tips : Patent Law Firm in Houston Texas
What Is the Patent Application Process? – 10 Tips
An entity or individual may find itself with a new idea or invention. However, patenting it will be essential to ensure that others do not capitalize on the concept and accrue economic benefits that would have been yours. To acquire this monopoly for the next 20 years, you will have to engage in the patent application process. If successful, others will be prohibited from using your unique idea or design. These tips can help understand the application process.
- Remain secretive about the idea
You should remain silent about your invention until you have applied seeking patent protection. If you demonstrate or discuss it before submitting your application, you set yourself up for a situation where you could lose the patent.
If you are in an organization, it may be wise to have confidentiality agreements concerning the idea. Alternatively, if you are in talks with potential partners, you can have nondisclosure agreements to ensure the concept remains a secret.
- Determine if your idea can be patented
It is imperative that you evaluate your invention to see if it meets all the conditions for it to be patented. If it fits the eligibility criteria, you can go on. Contrarily, you can continue developing it without the advantages that come with having a patent.
- Determine if you should get a patent
It is pointless to patent something if you do not intend to commercialize and defend it against any infringers.
- Conduct a search
Before you invest more resources into your idea, it is critical to ensure that it is not patented. The US Patent and Trademark office is tasked with the patenting function in the United States. However, you do not have to visit their headquarters.
- Accessing their website can aid in this regard. You will get to know if your idea is new and not an infringement on another.
- This body has also established Patent and Trademark Resource Centers. Each state has one, and they are accessible to the public. You can then visit these offices and utilize their automated search systems to conduct your search.
- Seek professional help
Even though the application process seems straightforward, it can become simpler if you were to seek the services of a patent attorney. A specialist will ensure that you do not commit any mistakes that are detrimental to getting a successful patent. Panda Patent is an excellent option for those seeking such services.
- Decide the patent you want
There are three primary types that one can apply for.
- There are utility patents. Such patents safeguard the utility aspect or how they work. They cover machines, methods, processes, compositions, and any manufacturable thing that is useful and has a particular function. The useful designation entails any items that have a clear benefit and use. Additionally, the inventions must be new besides not being obvious. This patent can also be given for improvement of any of the inventions listed above.
- There are design patents. These patents safeguard aesthetic appearance. They are thus issued for design, appearance, shape, or ornament used. To be considered for this patent, the patented product should be non-functional. Contrarily, a utility patent would be needed for protection. Also, the appearance must be new in addition to not being obvious.
- There are plant patents. They are made available to those that discover or come up with plants, which undergo asexual reproduction. It safeguards growers of any new variety. Some examples are hybrids and mutants among other types. They must also be new besides not being obvious.
- Submit a provisional application
The patent office recognizes the party that filed first not the one that claims to have come up with it first. Getting a provisional patent will grant you some protection against people that come arguing that the idea was theirs.
- Compile the information for the formal application
At this stage, you will come up with a specification that comprises several items. They include an abstract, summary, a description that is comprehensive, and a conclusion. You will also have a background, scope, and ramifications. Additionally, you will need to describe your patent’s legal scope.
- Completion and assessment of the formal application
A patent application usually takes no less than one year to get processed. It is thus vital to get it right in the first submission since mistakes can result in its getting rejected. Re-applying would prove expensive in addition to being time-consuming.
- Engage in the patent process
After you apply, you will get a patent examiner who will be tasked with handling your case. If any correspondence originates from them, it is essential that you respond as soon as is possible. Having an attorney means that he or she will be the recipient of any communication. You can then get any updates from him or her.
In summary, with the tips listed above, you are better equipped to handle the patent application process.