Some people want to use products and don’t care how they were made, some want to know everything behind the product and some want to invent new things. If you are creative and smart enough, you probably want to help the world by inventing new things. Getting an idea is just the first step. If you want to monetize and protect it, you need to patent it.
There are many people who have great ideas but don’t know what to do about them. Have you ever noticed that something is missing in the world and you know what’s missing? If you are a person who does not just sit and wait for others to think of things, then you need to become an inventor.
From idea to finished product may sound easy, but there are some really important steps you need to take if you want everything to be done right and hopefully successful. Here we are going to give you some guidelines on how to patent your ideas. Follow this guide to be sure that you’ve done everything right.
Are you going to do it alone, or hire an attorney?
Some people decide to pattern their idea with the help of a lawyer, some choose to do it on their own. If this is your first time doing this, most people advise you to get a lawyer. Yes, you will have to pay a little bit more, but you will know that everything is done right and you won’t end up spending hours and days navigating through the system.
If you want to do it on your own, you should know that there is a low that requires patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to support and help people who apply without the help of an attorney.
As you probably already know to get a patent you will need to make sure that your invention qualifies for a patent and to fill out the application. The application part includes you being able to describe all aspects of your invention.
You should know that these skills don’t really qualify as legal, so you can definitely learn anything you need if you want to. You won’t be a professional, but you can get your job done. Some of the steps are really easy, and some of them can be challenging. However, you need to be patient, take things one step at a time and at the end of it all, you will acquire a patent.
Keep a written record
No matter where you are from, the steps to take are pretty much the same ones. We are going to follow the steps you should take if you are a US resident, but these apply to all countries in the world. Even though the rules may sound complex and hard, if you divide them one step at a time you will realize it’s not that chaotic.
Now, let’s start with the basics. If you have an idea you need to write everything down. Describe every modification and every aspect of the idea and the invention. This includes how you got the idea in the first place. Be as detailed as possible so that you can show that is it your own unique idea.
You may also want to build and test a prototype, but this really depends on the type of invention and your personal skills. If you decide to test a prototype, then document all of the efforts as well. You might even take pictures or videos. Don’t forget to date and sign all of the entries and try to have at least two reliable witnesses to sign them as well.
Does your invention qualify?
You should know that you need more than an idea to get a patent. You won’t be qualified unless you can show how your invention works. It also needs to be something new and something that does not really exist already. Your invention needs to be different from anything else that already is available or it needs to be different in some important way.
To get a patent you will need to spend some money and a lot of time, so don’t waste your time if you know that chances are, the examiners will reject your application. InventHelp advises that your product needs to offer something that others lack and that it needs to have a value that sets it apart from the other new products that are already on the market.
Does the market need it?
Before you make an investment, you need to do research on the market and see if your product is going to be successful. You can look at the whole process of the application as a business decision.
Even without hiring a lawyer, you will need hundreds and even thousands of dollars that you will need to spend on fees so you can obtain the pattern. If it seems like something that the current market is not interested in, don’t waste your money and just wait for some time. Maybe the market will change or you’ll get a better idea.
Do your research
Start by researching your country’s patterns, technical and scientific journals. When you are done with that, check the foreign patterns to ensure that your invention is new. Yes, this is going to be time-consuming, but you need to have something unique to get your patent.
For this research, it is best to do it on your own. You know the most about your product and you know where to start and what to look for. Start by looking at things online and when you are done with that, visit a Patent and Trademark Depository Library. When you are doing that you will most likely find some inventions that are similar to yours. Before filing the application make sure that you show and document how your invention is different or how it improves them. All of this will help you get approval.
File the application
When you are done with your research, now it’s time to prepare and file the application. You can file a full-blown regular patent application (RPA) or a provisional patent application (PPA). PPA is not an application for the patent, but it will allow you to have a patent-pending status. You will need to write down a detailed description, informal drawing and how can people use it.
One year after filing the PPA, you need to file RPA. The RPA starts with the examination process at the trademark office and you will get more information about the needed documents or information depending on the office and its requirements.
To get approved for your invention is not a complex process. It may seem overwhelming at first, but you need to have patience and take one step at a time. Make sure you document everything from idea to product. If you are unsure if you can do it alone, you can contact an expert to help you with the process.