How To Get A Patent Filled In Five Easy Steps?
If you have a brilliant idea you have got to get it patented through US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as soon as possible. Contrary to the popular belief it is possible to file a patent application without the help of any patent lawyer. Thousands of people have already done it. Although the entire process is a little time consuming, it is not impossible to navigate yourself through patent application system. You will need to do some research, read some stuff may be talk to some experienced guys and you will do just fine. This article briefly explains how to get a patent in five easy steps.
Before applying for patent you need to compile every small detail of your invention and arrange it in meaningful manner. Keep all the details, diagrams, flow charts of your invention handy prior to application. If necessary you should also build and keep a prototype ready. Having reliable witnesses while you were developing your invention would be additional advantage.
Even if you do it all by yourself you will need to spend around $1500 in fees plus other expenses for a provisional patent application. This makes it important to assess the commercial potential of your idea or invention. Before applying for a patent you should explore the commercial potential of your invention and decide if filing patent application is worth the efforts.
Patent search is a term used to describe the process to find out whether your idea or invention has already been patented or not. This step involves searching for all US patents related to your field and if necessary some foreign patents too. Although you can do this on your own there are professional companies offering Patent Search services for a price. It is no doubt very time consuming process but very essential one. If someone has already patented same ides as that of yours, you can save a lot of many and time. If you feel you are not up to this task you can outsource it to the professionals. Although online research is a good place to start, visiting Patent and Trademark Depository Library to search earlier patents is the key. You can and should also search scientific and technical journals, to find related inventions.
There are two types of patent applications, provisional patent application (PPA) and a regular patent application (RPA).
Since this is not a regular patent filing it attracts only a fraction of the cost and efforts of filing regular application. PPA will grant you a “patent pending” status normally for one year. The cost involved in filing a PP is $65 for micro-entities, $130 for small entities and $260 for large companies. The provisional patent application should be accompanied with a detailed description of the invention, telling how to make and use it, and an informal drawing. The condition is that you must file a RPA within one year of PPA expiry if not then you can no longer claim PPA filing date.
The application is similar to PPA however filing a RPA will immediately trigger the examination process at the USPTO so you have to be absolutely sure that everything is ready prior to filing RPA. The PTO has implemented an Electronic Filing System using the Internet (EFS-Web) that enables patent applications, amendments, and other documents to be filed electronically. It saves your time however be sure to double check everything before filing since smallest mistake can delay your patent for months or even years.