How to Patent an Idea
5 steps every Inventor must start with -How to Patent an Idea ! To see a diagram click Invention Process
1) Document your invention, correctly (Title, List of parts (elements), Summary of how parts work, list of advantages, drawing or picture of prototype). See the attached forms and instructions.
2) Perform competing product research – stores, online, trade shows, trade magazines- know their parts or elements
3) find a patent-trademark attorney
4) Perform a Patent Search. www.uspto.gov
5) file a patent & trademark application to protect your idea
Step 1 – How to Patent an Idea: Document your Invention: Complete the form: At least have a Title, List of Parts (mark photos or drawings to identify parts by name); List of Advantages; Description of drawings, figures, photos, hand drawings; Summary of how parts are assembled; Summary of how invention is used.
Options on How to Patent an Idea
1) Provisional Patent – Is a less expensive and less formal means of How to Patent an Idea
A provisional application for patent is a U.S. patent application for patent filed in the United States Patent Office (USPTO). A provisional patent application allows filing without a formal patent claim, formal drawings, an oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement. In addition, the provisional patent is not examined by the USPTO but allows the term “Patent Pending” to be applied in connection with the description of the invention.
A provisional application provides a lower-cost first patent filing of your invention in the United States.
A provisional application for patent (provisional application) lasts for 12 months from the date the provisional application is filed. The 12-month period cannot be extended. Therefore, an applicant who files a provisional application must file a corresponding non-provisional (regular) application for patent during the 12-month period in order to benefit from the earlier filing of the provisional application. If not, the provisional application is abandoned.
2) Regular Patent – Is a formal patent application as a means of How to Patent an Idea
A non provisional or utility patent application is a patent application that meets all the requirements of patentability set forth by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Patents in the US generally have a term of 20 years from the date on which the earliest application for the patent was filed. The written document of a non provisional patent application comprises a specification, which includes a title, technical field, background, brief summary, brief description of the drawings, detailed description of the preferred and selected alternate embodiments, one or more claims, an abstract, and one or more formal drawings of the invention. The drawings must show every feature of the invention specified in the claims. Regular patent applications are examined by an Examiner at the USPTO, which take at least 18 months. The regular patent application provides the inventor with an application for patent having a priority date and “patent pending” status.
3) Design Patent – Is a patent covering the 3D appearance of an object as means of How to Patent an Idea
A US Design patent application that cover any new, original and ornamental design for a product of manufacture, such as the 3D configuration of a product like a vase, door knob, fender of a car, a desk phone and the like. A Design Patents have a term of 14 years in the US and protect only the appearance of the article and not structural or useful features. Appearance includes visual ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, an article of manufacture, including configuration or shape of an article, surface ornamentation applied to an article, or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation of an article of manufacture. The written document of a design patent application includes a title, technical field, description of the drawings, a claim, and one or more drawings of the invention. There is not a provisional design application.