How to patent an idea with the United States Patent and Trademark

The United States Patent and Trademark Office allows a patent to the inventor for his invention to protect his intellectual property right. This protects the invention of being copied or misused by any other person than the inventor himself. This concept is almost clear to all who are reading this article and are in the search of an appropriate answer to the question “how to patent an idea?”

The concept should be very clear that an idea cannot be patented at any cost and at any point in time. So naturally question comes “what can be patented?” The explanation is as follows.

What can be patented?

According to the statute the invention of any machine, process or matter, which is an outcome of an idea can be patented. So technically speaking only an idea for an invention or which may be used for inventing something new cannot be patented.

So, now when it is clear what can be patented let us discuss how to patent an idea with the USPTO. The process of patenting can be really troublesome for those who are doing it for the first time in their life. So here we will make it easy for all in understanding the procedure of patenting an idea in 5 easy steps.

FIRST STEP

Type of intellectual property protection needed:

The very first thing to be considered for patenting an idea or you may say an invention is whether it needs patenting or not. It may turn out that the invention which is an intellectual property needs some other kind of protection for example trademark, copyright or service-marks. After you are convinced after considering all the facts that your invention needs a patent to proceed to the second step.

SECOND STEP                                                                  

Qualification for patentability:

You need to go through the patent laws to determine whether it is patentable or not. Research is needed to make sure the following points are complied with.

  • The idea should be new and have not been patented before by any other person at any point time both in the country and foreign land.
  • The uniqueness of the product should be present. It should not be something others could easily think of.
  • The invention should be useful and can be used practically.

Your idea should not be disclosed in public before applying for a patent. If you are not satisfied with your own search you can get help from practicing attorney to help you with your search.

Now you can proceed for the next part if you are satisfied that your invention can be patented.

THIRD STEP

Kind of patent required:

The patent is generally of three types, the description of those are given hereunder.

  • Utility patent: The first of the three is the utility patent which is the highest among all patents granted. This kind of patent is granted for an invention which is a new and useful process, the machine, manufacture, or composition of matter or an improvement of any of these.
  • Design patent: The name speaks a lot about this kind. Design patent is granted for a new and original ornamental design which may be embodied in or maybe an article used in manufacturing.
  • Plant patent: This kind of patent is issued for a newly discovered or reproduced asexually distinct variety of plant.

Determine which variety of patent is applicable for your invention before proceeding further.

FOURTH STEP

Preparation for application:

After you know your invention comes under which category of the patent it is time for preparing for the application. And again the confusion comes how to patent an idea. With the completion of the last three steps, you have almost done half of the procedure of patenting an idea. It is time to understand the cost you have to bear. Let us make it easy with some breakup of the cost.

  • Basic fee
  • The additional fee which includes examination fee, search fee and issue fee.
  • Depending on the variety of patent and the type of application fee varies.
  • Online application saves you $200, which you have to bear on hand delivery or by mail.

Decide whether you acquire patent pending status by filing a provisional patent application, which secures an early filing date with the USPTO  followed by a non-provisional patent application within 12 months from the date of filing of the prior.

This is the step in which you should decide whether to everything by your own or getting the help of an attorney.

FIFTH STEP

Filing of the application:

You are almost done for patenting an idea. All you need to do now is file your non-provisional patent application for grant of the patent. The filing or submission of the application is recommended by the USPTO to be done by a patent attorney or agent. It can be done electronically through USPTO’s own page or by mail or hand delivery.

There you finish the procedure of patenting an idea successfully. Hope it helped to get the answer to the question of how to patent an idea.

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