By doing patent application you will get a patent which is basically a license or legal grant from the USPTO that gives an inventor exclusive ownership rights to his or her invention over making, using, offering for sale, and selling the patented item or idea in the U.S.
Example: If you get a patent for your cookery book, it doesn’t mean you have the right to sell or market your cookery book before passing through lots of regulations and tests. It simply means that you only have rights to prevent others from selling or marketing what is covered by your patent claims.
Three types of patent
A Utility Patent – It is the most common patent type. It is used for approximately 90% of the patent. A utility patent is issued for the invention of a new and useful process, the machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement. It exists for 20 years from the date of patent application filing.
A Design Patent– It is issued for original, new, and ornamental design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture…” While a design patent protects the way a product looks. A utility patent gives protection the way a product is used and works.
A Plant Patent– It is issued for a brand new and distinct, invented or discovered asexually reproduced plant.
Is it Possible to patent an Idea?
If we speak technically, then no ideas can be patented.
You are just allowed to obtain a patent on the invention developed from an idea. The invention must be actually produced or a description of the invention must be included with your patent application.
How to Patent an Idea
It is an important process to learn that how can you patent an idea, so you can protect your ideas from others copying. It is anyway not fair to make the profit from your efforts and hard work.
If you have never done it before then the filing process can be scary for you. A patent requires a large investment of time to research your idea and its market, create detailed drawings, and learn how to write clearly using very specific terminology.
Here are 5 easy steps you can follow to protect your million dollar idea from competitors.
It is important to keep a record or journal of how you came up with your idea and how your idea is progressing as a well-kept record will provide you with proof that the work you put into the ideas in all your stand may potentially help your creative process. Keep whole details of corrections, mistakes, and improvement you have made. It all should all be done before you started the process of filing for a patent.
You should be very careful in keeping records of exactly who has been given access to your idea. Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) for all employees, contractors, and anyone else provided access should be obtained. You should also consider signing and dating each entry and having two reliable witnesses sign as well. NDA’s should include all the acknowledgment that all rights to your idea and any work done on your idea remain owned solely by you.
Do a genuine research on your idea and make sure that it is one that is eligible for patenting under the established patent law. As you already know you can patent inventions, designs, and even some plants as long as your invention is new, non-obvious and useful.
Consider doing some market research idea too as it will include an analysis of products on the market that accomplish similar tasks to your invention as well as an evaluation of your potential competitors.
Make a Prototype
A prototype highlights all the features in your inventor’s journal. When filing a patent for a patent, it is strongly recommended to have the prototype. You will also be able to discover problems with your design during the prototype development process that will need to be fixed before obtaining your patent plus it also provides you with something tangible that you can show to potential investors and licensees.
Here are some guidelines for creating a prototype:
- Sketch out your invention in your inventor’s journal.
- Develop a mock-up in the form of a 3-D model.
- Create a fully-working model.
Prepare your Patent Application
After the completion of the above steps, now it’s time to prepare and file your patent application. These are the issues you will need to resolve during the patent filing process.
Patent Type– As discussed above, there are three main types of patents: utility, design, and plant patents.
Provisional Patent Application– You may want to consider filing a provisional patent application before filing an actual (non-provisional) application for your patent. It also gives the applicant “patent pending” status and the right to use the term “Patent Pending” in documents describing the invention.
Filing your Patent Application
A non-provisional application is also called Regular patent application. It is filed to obtain the actual patent that protects your invention or design. For receiving a patent the application must contain words and drawings that clearly show how to make and use the invention, Explains why the invention is different from all other inventions and precisely describe what aspects of the invention should be patented.
You can file your patent yourself electronically, by mail or by delivery. Hence, it’s very important to note that all attachments in pdf format and need to format according to specific guidelines.
Your patent application will include a number of statements and attachments including:
- A specification attachment called the “narrative” section of the application. It should include:
- A description of the invention.
- Prior art.
- The reason or purpose for the invention.
- a complete explanation of construction and working
- A written claim that follows these strict requirements:
- The claim is written in sentence fragments starting with a capital letter and ending in one period with no quotation marks or parentheses.
- A statement of the independent claim that is a broader description of the item.
Our must also prepare drawings that show every feature in the claims. Patent drawings include strict requirements for the materials, size, form, symbols which includes sharing, size of paper, margins, color, font, etc.
You also need to add a signed and notarized oath from the inventor. It declares that the inventor believes himself or herself to be the originator of the invention. The oaths are:
- Utility Patent Oath
- Design Patent Oath
- Plant Patent Oath
Once you have received your authorization code and reference number through mail or phone after your certificate action form has been processed, here are detailed instructions on how to fill out your patent application using the USPTO’s Electronic Filing System (EFS):
Log into EFS.
Upload your digital certificate and enter the password assigned when applying for a certificate
Fill in bibliographic data.
- Name of invention
- Name and address
- Customer number
- Attach prepared .pdf documents and enter the category and description of each document you attach
- Calculate filing fee by checking right boxes on the calculation tool
- Review each attached document and application form and submit
- Pay with credit card, USPTO deposit amount, or electronic funds transfer (EFT).
Benefits of Patenting an Idea
- have a legal right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling or importing your invention. Without your permission by patenting your idea.
- will get protection for a fixed period, allowing you to keep competitors at bay.
- can then use your invention yourself.
- can license your patent for others to use it, or sell it, as with any asset. By doing this, you can have an important source of revenue for your business. Indeed, some businesses exist solely to collect the royalties from a patent they have licensed. Perhaps in combination with a registered design and trademark.
- have a patent application can promote further discovery by an inventor, and an increase in value over time.
- can invest more funds into a product’s design or production. Because no one can copy it without infringing on your patent.
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