Creating any kind of product or invention can be a momentous breakthrough in your life. This new idea could be the financial future you and your family needs, or it could be the end goal of a passion project for your work.
The vindication of finally coming up with a new idea, and bringing it to life is what drives innovation, but innovation is only the first step to truly bringing that idea to life. The most important part of your idea is making sure you file a patent. Patenting your product or idea makes it yours, legally, and here is how you can file for one.
1. Check For An Existing Patent
The worst part about creating something is finding out someone has already done it. Patenting means checking with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This government body collects a database and registers all known patents, so it is a valuable resource to determine if your idea has already been used.
They have a convenient search function that allows you to thoroughly check for previous patents and see if any of your ideas overlap. This is an important first step, so you do not sink any more money into a futile effort.
2. Hiring A Patent Attorney
There are lawyers for nearly everything. Criminal, corporate, tax, bankruptcy, and of course, patents. Patent attorneys are an important piece of the puzzle for getting your idea legally certified as a patent and the attorneys from the Revision Legal show what steps go into the patent process.
The important details they will help you with include licensing, registration, and infringement. All of this information is incredibly crucial to understanding the legal proceedings behind the scenes, which is an area of patenting that many people are unfamiliar with. It always helps to have a helping hand on your side.
3. Knowing The Types Of Patents
There are multiple aspects of a patent, as mentioned, in the need for registration, licensing, and infringement. There are multiple types of patents too, and each one is important for their specific needs. The four types are utility, provisional, design, and plant.
The utility patent is a documentation of a new system or process, provisional patent means the inventor has a year limit to file a utility patent after proving they are in possession of said invention, design patents help inventors patent the shape or design of systems or products, and plant patents are used to protect a new species of plants created by non-reproductive means. Knowing where your idea falls in the realm of types of patents is necessary for the filing process.
4. File For Provisional Patent
Provisional filing should be done immediately. The reason for this is that anyone can come up with the same idea as you at any time, so you need to be first to get your idea protected. The general concept is that patents work as a first to file, not first to create the idea. This step is to ensure your guaranteed protection from someone “stealing” your idea first.
5. Register As A Patent Filer
This can be done by mail, fax, or online. The benefits of online filing are that you can get your registration as a patent filer done quicker than mail or fax. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has the best service to help you out with this, and they will provide you with the resources that will help you understand the expectations of your filing application.
6. Creating And Completing Your File Application
The information you need to create and complete the application is a lot. You need a background, summary, descriptions, and scope for your patent. All of this information is useful when using a patent attorney because they can help walk you through it. The point is that you need a strong application because the completion process can take a few years, and it needs to be well-done, so you do not have to re-file or miss out on your idea.
7. Finalize The Patent Process
The final aspects of the patent process will go smoothly if you have a patent attorney. They will communicate directly to the Patent and Trademark Office, but you can help this too. The information they receive and give will be relayed to you, but being open and asking your attorney to ask questions or help discuss issues on your behalf can make the process much more effective.
Filing a patent seems like a simple process where you state your idea or invention, and it is approved under your name. That is not the case. The process is much more substantial than you might think, but it is important, and these steps to filing a patent will help protect your idea.
If you are interested in even more design-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.