Filing a Patent for Your Invention

Monday, December 01, 2014

To secure a patent on your invention, you must file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). There are four crucial steps that must be taken before you can apply that will help ensure that you receive a patent and protect your invention. First of all you need to keep very detailed records of your invention.

Descriptions, drawings and diagrams of the invention should be created along with any changes to the product. Document all of your creative and constructive efforts and make sure to include the date. For official requirements, you will also need to sign each document and have two witnesses sign as well for verification. If you are able to, building a prototype can also be included in the records portion of creating your invention.

Since you cannot receive a patent on just an idea, you will have to display to the USPTO that your invention works and is new to the world. It must have clear-cut differences from all other previously developed inventions. You will need to do scrupulous research into the inventions in your industry so you do not waste time and money recreating a past invention.

It’s also important that your invention or product isn’t currently for sale when applying for a patent. You will also need to prove that your invention has commercial potential and value. To file your patent application as well as obtain the actual patent, upon approval, you will need to spend at least $1,500. Therefore, it’s vital that your invention is profitable. Research your intended market and make a business decision about whether or not your invention is worth the investment. However, finding investors is one alternative to developing a prototype and paying for the patent out of pocket.

If you have spent time going through all of these steps, you can then prepare and file your patent application with the USPTO. You may want to seek the help of an attorney to ensure you are completing the application correctly. Especially, if you have a new invention that has never before been introduced to the patent office, having an expert help you explain it, detail it and prove its value can be crucial to receiving the patent.