Knowing how to file a patent application for an idea or product and exactly what requirements and steps that must be taken can save you a great deal of time and resources. A patent attorney, in most cases, can help move the process along, beginning with conducting a thorough patent search, to check if the invention has been patented already by someone else. If not, then it is fair game to others. You would probably be surprised to know that a database listing of patents contains millions of entries.
How to file a patent application for an idea, Invention or Product
Actually, a patent cannot be obtained for an idea or suggestion alone. A prototype of the idea must be created, and the materials and processes jotted down. It is also essential to write down the name, rationale and background of the invention, plus what spurred the inventor or led to the conception of the idea. A well thought out description of the innovation and what it can do, what it looks like and how it operates, along with an illustration are also necessary.
The patent application can then be filed through electronic process. Beforehand, a customer number and digital certificate is acquired by clicking on a link on the patent office’s website. The downloaded form is then mailed to the patents office and the patent application must wait for the authorization codes and reference numbers. However, you must complete the patent application form, writing a detailed product description.
To protect an idea on how an item must look like, you can choose to apply for a design patent. This type of patent can offer protection for the design concept for 14 years from date of issuance of the patent. Utility patents are innovations pertaining to a useful new process, last for 20 years from the day the patents are issued. Learning how to file a patent application for an idea can prevent costly mistakes. In countries like the US, which is transitioning from a first-to-invent patent system to a first-inventor-to-file system, the importance of obtaining a patent is further underscored.
There have been many cases of individuals that have been deterred from process of obtaining a patent for their ideas because of the huge costs and lots of paperwork involved. Nonetheless, a patent can be a good investment. Once granted, a patent can prove to be lucrative. Royalties can come in if the original idea is good.
Another way you may acquire a pending patent status is to opt for provisional patent application. This type of patent application, which is submitted to the director of the Patent and Trademark Office, lets the inventor file a detailed description of the invention (complete with drawings if applicable, an oath, along with the filing fees) and be allotted a year to convert the provisional patent into the more extensive non-provisional type.
Before buckling down and knowing the steps on how to file a patent application for an idea, note that certain inventions, including whimsical ones with no clear purpose or use to other people, immoral ones, and non-operable ones will not be accepted by the patents and trademarks office.