The patent process can be tricky, time-consuming and full of pitfalls. At Idea4Invention.com, we can help you understand the patent process and how to get a patent. We work with top patent lawyers and patent agents, who can assist you from beginning to end. Answer the questions to the left to get help now.
What is a patent, and why do you need one?
Granted by a national government office, patents give inventors property rights to their inventions and ideas. They were created as a way to protect inventors’ intellectual property and prevent others from making, using or selling the invention of another person. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants three kinds of patents: design, utility and plant patents.
What makes an idea patentable?
If you can answer yes to the following questions, you may be able to patent an idea.
Is my idea/invention useful?
Is my idea/invention novel?
Is my idea/invention non-obvious?
Does your idea meet all of the above criteria? If so, keep reading to learn how you can apply for a patent.
How to patent an idea or invention
Step 1: Document everything. You must be able to show the patent office how your invention works. Patent applications must be very detailed. If you discuss your ideas with other people, record your conversations and sign and date your entries. If you can, have a witness sign as well. And don’t forget to document the first use of your invention.
Step 2: Show how it differs. Be prepared to show how your idea or invention is different than similar inventions. The greater the difference, the better chance you have of obtaining a patent.
Step 3: Hire a patent lawyer. While you don’t necessarily need a lawyer to obtain a patent, it can greatly increase your odds of success. Patent attorneys can help make sure you have the necessary paperwork and records to apply. They can also help you determine if your invention idea is patentable and how it differs substantially from other inventions. Practice makes perfect. An experienced patent attorney can make the whole process faster and more efficient.
Step 4: File for a patent. In the United States, you can fill out a provisional patent application (PPA) or a regular patent application (RPA). PPAs allow you to claim patent-pending status, which protects you for one year while you work on developing your idea sufficiently to obtain a full patent.
If you’re ready to apply for a patent or would like more information about patents or obtaining a patent, please answer the questions to the left, and one of our partners will get back to you shortly.