You have an idea for a product that will change the world as everyone knows it. Something groundbreaking that everyone is going to want once you get the product on shelves.
The only problem is that right now it’s only an idea and you’re not sure how to get a patent on an idea to protect it. The answer is that you can’t.
Not while it’s only in the idea stage anyway. You’ll need to move forward a little more before you can start thinking about hiring a patent attorney. Check out this guide to learn more about getting your big invention off the ground.
Get a Better Understanding of Your Invention
Before you can get a patent, you need to have a complete understanding of your invention. Decide what sets it apart from anything else like it. Think about how it’s going to revolutionize the world.
Okay, maybe it doesn’t have to do all that but it does need to be useful to the general public. Now that you’ve done that, you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to make the final product.
Create a drawing that describes how the invention is going to work, make a list of materials that you’ll need to make a prototype of the product, and write down in detail how one would assemble the device. Make sure you sign and date all of these records and keep them in a safe place. It doesn’t hurt to get a few witnesses to sign off on it as well.
Once you’ve all this, pat yourself on the back. Your invention is no longer an idea. It’s a full-blown product concept that can maybe receive a patent!
See if Your Invention Qualifies
Again, you can’t get a simple idea patented. You need to have some idea of how it works and how it can be built. It also needs to bring something new to the world.
Let’s for example, say you have an idea to create a coaster that warms your coffee mug while it’s on your desk. It’s a cool invention but there are quite a few of those out there already. Yours will need to have some big, amazing new function that none of the others do or else your idea will get rejected.
It costs quite a bit of money to send off a product concept for patent so that rejection will hurt in more than one way. That’s why you’ve got to do a little bit of research.
Do a Bit of Research
Before you create your invention, you need to do some research to make sure there’s nothing else like it on the market. This goes a little bit deeper than you would think.
If another product uses some kind of technology that yours does, even if the two are in completely unrelated fields, you’ll have to submit that to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If you don’t, you may get slapped with a disqualification.
Hire a Patent Attorney
As you can tell it’s a lot of work to get a patent. There is a ton of paperwork and studying that you have to do. That’s why it might be a good idea for you to hire a patent law attorney. They will be able to take one look at your product concept and tell you rather or not you should go for a patent.
If the answer is yes, you should, they will walk through all the paperwork with you. They can explain things as they go along to help you understand the process.
Things change with the patent office all the time as far as policies go. It’s the job of the attorney to stay on top of these changes to help your request go smoothly.
If an error comes up with your product after the patent goes through they can tell you how to proceed. We will say that hiring an attorney is expensive but as you can see, it’s one of the most important steps to get a patent.
Filing a PPA
Say that you pretty much have your invention good to go but it does need a little work if it’s going to perform the way it’s supposed to. You can protect your idea until you make these tweaks by filing a PPA.
The PPA will stick your invention in the patent-pending status. You will be recognized as the inventor and your idea will be safe for up to a year. After that, you will have to move forward and draft your regular patent application.
Draft the Application
The reason why you want a lawyer’s help when drafting your application is that there’s a lot of parts to it. If you fill out even one thing incorrectly, it could cause your patent to get denied.
If you can’t afford a lawyer make sure that you do your research so you know what you’re doing and triple check your paperwork before you turn it in.
Wait for a Response and Market in the Meantime
It might take up to a year for you to hear anything back in regards to your invention. The good thing is that you don’t have to sit on your hands and do nothing while you wait.
Since your product is in the pending patent stage, you can start doing some marketing. Create a website and social media page for it. Begin networking around your area. Anything you have to do to get your idea out there.
How to Get a Patent on an Idea That You’re Proud of
Part of getting your invention into the hands of your adoring public is learning how to get a patent on an idea. While you’ll need to do a little groundwork before submitting an application to the USPTO, the process is pretty straight forward as long as you have a great lawyer in your corner.
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