3 Main Steps Of Getting A Patent Approved

Law Articles

If you have created a product that is different and unique from all other similar products, you may want to consider getting a patent on this item. By doing this, you will protect the item by stopping others from duplicating it and selling it. The downside to getting a patent is the amount of time it can take for the process to go through. The best thing you can do is hire a patent lawyer and get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Here are three steps involved in this process, which will help you understand why the process can be long and grueling.

The Search

Before your lawyer can begin filling out the application and paperwork needed to obtain a patent on your invention, he or she will need to search patent records to determine if your product is new and original. You may think your product has never been created before, but this might not be the case. If someone else had already thought up the idea and patented an item that is very similar to yours, you will not be allowed to get a patent on it. This is the reason a search is necessary before applying for a patent.

Your lawyer will perform the search by visiting the website of U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). This website offers a way to search records for free, but it can take time to search this database. You could do this yourself if you did not want to hire a lawyer, but patent lawyers are good at this. They know what to look for and are able to search records quickly and efficiently.

If your lawyer determines that your invention has never been patented, he or she will move on to the next step in the process.

The Application

Filling out an application for a patent is the next step, and you must do this correctly and thoroughly in order for the USPTO to approve it. The application is not something you can fill out in a matter of minutes. It will take time, and your chances of getting it approved are better if you have a lawyer assisting you through this.

Keep in mind, it is very rare for a patent application to get approved the first time. It often takes multiple tries to get the approval, but it will hopefully be worthwhile once you do receive it. The application has several parts, which include the following:

  • Specification – This part of the application is a thorough description of your product. It describes it in a way that anyone would be able to understand what it is and what its purpose is.
  • Claims – The second part is the claims you are making. This requires determining the entire scope of your invention
  • Abstract – The abstract section is used as a summary of your invention.
  • Drawings – The final section is the drawings. These are needed so the USPTO can see what you are describing, and the drawings should clearly illustrate how your item works.

When your entire application is complete, you can go ahead and file it with the USPTO.

File And Pay

When you file your application, you will have to pay a fee to do this. In addition, you will have to pay your lawyer for the services he or she offered. The costs you will pay for this can drastically vary, but it is not unlikely to spend $10,000 in all or more to file for a patent. You can file electronically or by mail, but you should not expect to hear anything for a while. In fact, it typically takes at least 18.1 months to hear anything back from the USPTO.

When you do hear back, you are not likely to find out that your patent was approved. You will most likely hear that additional information is needed, or that mistakes were discovered in your application. If you do eventually receive your patent, it will be good for 20 years from the time you filed your application.

Getting a patent is a great way to protect an idea you created, but it takes time. If you would like to learn more about this process, contact a patent lawyer, such as those found at Kaufhold & Dix Patent Law.


16 October 2015

Dealing with Estate Planning When You're Single

Too many single people assume they don't need to plan their estate. My brother fell into this category, and his unexpected passing left our entire family struggling to deal with his home, belongings, and financial accounts. It took nearly three years for the courts to set up a deal because he left no paperwork detailing how he wanted his estate divided. The situation immediately convinced me to work on my own estate, even though I'm still in my early 30's and don't have children or a spouse to worry about. Since it's a little harder to pick beneficiaries and estate managers when you're single, I collected the resources I used for making my own decisions and decided to publish them here on my blog. Use these resources before talking to an estate planning attorney so you're prepared for making hard decisions.