Do you want to know how to patent an idea?
Through our referrals our clients have secured over 10,000 patents. Is your idea protected?
From Sean Kaufhold, Registered Patent Attorney
Why should I consider getting a patent?
According to patent attorney Sean Kaufhold, a patent may be advisable in the following situations:
- The product is clearly a combination or modification of something already found in the marketplace or something that already has a patent.
- The inventor has determined the invention can be marketed or produced in such a way that it can be profitable and the costs of obtaining a patent do not outweigh the potential profit.
- The details of the invention have been worked out and it does not require much more time and experimentation.
- The invention is better suited for patent protection rather than trade secret protection.
What are the advantages of getting a patent?
- Prevents theft of invention.
- A patent can protect your invention from being stolen and made & sold by another without your consent.
- Shows that you are serious.
- A patent can be a valuable tool for advertising and attracting investor capital. “Patent pending” and “patented” are buzzwords that prove you are serious about your invention.
- Used to negotiate a license.
- Being able to show a company that you have a patent can help when negotiating a license. It can make your product more desirable to a company because with permission to use or take over your patent, only that company can produce the product, which makes it a better investment.
Why is it important to act quickly?
Timing is very important when applying for a patent. The United States utilizes a ‘first to file’ system, which means – in a race to the Patent Office where two or more inventors are seeking patent protection for the same invention, the patent would be awarded to the inventor who filed their patent application first, regardless of whether or not he was the first and true inventor of the invention. This is a very important reason why you should carefully consider whether or not a patent application should be prepared and filed in the United States Patent Office as quickly as possible.
From the United States Patent & Trademark Office
How can I get a patent?
The patenting process can vary from one inventor to the next, but the typical process looks like this, according to the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
- Determine the type of intellectual property protection that you need.
- Search to see if your invention has already been publically disclosed.
- If you are not experienced at performing patent searches, a registered attorney or agent is recommended.
- It is possible, though difficult, for you to conduct your own search.
- Determine what kind of patent you need.
- There are three types of patents – utility, design, and plant.
- Get ready to apply.
- This includes paying your application fees, determining if you want to file a provisional or nonprovisional application, and deciding if you want to hire a patent attorney or agent.
- Prepare and submit your initial application.
- Work with your examiner.
- Receive your approval
- If the examiner determines that your application is in satisfactory condition and meets the requirements, you will receive a notice of allowance.
- Maintain your patent.
- There are fees and processes to maintain your patent.
InventHelp can refer you to an independent licensed patent attorney for a Preliminary Patentability Search and Opinion.
InventHelp offers no advice as to whether or not an idea is patentable; these opinions may come only from a licensed patent attorney. Clients using InventHelp's invention patent referrals must communicate directly with the independent attorney regarding all questions of a legal nature.
InventHelp's role is to submit clients' inventions or new product ideas to industry in an effort to obtain a good-faith review, and also to review any interest expressed. You may choose to apply for a U.S. patent and simultaneously attempt to present your idea to companies. Many inventors select this option of using InventHelp's submission program in conjunction with our invention patent referrals.
If you prefer to locate legal counsel on your own, you may still use InventHelp's submission program. Inventors who have already obtained patents for their inventions can also use our services to attempt to submit to industry.
InventHelp gives no advice as to whether your idea is patentable. Such advice may come only from a patent attorney or licensed patent agent. If you wish patent advice, it is advisable to seek advice from an independent patent attorney.