A patent is a legal device used to protect intellectual property, such as inventions, designs, or an original work of specific worth or value. In essence, a patent is used in order to protect inventions to the extent that other are prohibited by law to replicate, use, manufacture, and sell the same exact invention or creation.
In the United States, the process of obtaining a patent can prove to be quite extensive and subject to adhering to specific procedures and patent law. In order to get a patent, one should consider following the steps:
Know the Various Kinds of Patents
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is the governmental authority that deals will all aspects of patents, included in the process of how to get a patent and the formal granting of such legal rights. Before applying for a patent, one should determine which kind of patent is best to obtain for the particular invention is at hand. There are three basic types of recognized patents in the United States:
1. Utility Patent: Granted to individuals that invent or discover any process, device, machine, or improvement of an existing invention.
2. Design Patent: Reserved for inventions of new and original ornamental designs.
3. Plant Patent: Granted to a person that invents, discovers, or asexually reproduces a new and unique plant species.
Prepare All Involved Designs, Procedures, and Drawings for the Invention
In the process of creating a new invention, there are bound to be specific plans and designs regarding the creation of such a new device. In essence, the entire process of inventing the new machine or design should be documented throughout, so as to provide for a way of recreating the invention in the future.
Furthermore, documented the involved steps, the materials used, specific instructions, and related drawings, designs, or plans should all be produced for record-keeping purposes. When filing for a patent, it will be required that some, if not all, related plans, drawings, and instructions for creating the invention be provided. This is to not only document how to create the invention, but to also ensure that it is a unique and valuable one.
Conduct a Patent Search
In the process of how to patent a new invention, before submitting an application for a formal patent, a patent search should be conducted in regards to the newly created invention. The United States Patent and Trademark Office keeps on record for public viewing all patents that are properly registered.
Conducting a search would help determine whether a patent has been filed or granted that is similar to a person’s invention or new design. This can help avoid costs and time in the case the patent application is filed, and then is found to have already been granted previously for a similar invention. The patent search can be done through the USPTO website or in person at the USPTO Public Search Facility in Alexandria, Virginia.
Visit the USPTO Website and Obtain Necessary Application Forms
Upon finding that there is no patent on file in regards to a person’s invention, then one can submit a formal application for a patent. The application will contain information regarding the inventor and distinct and extensive information regarding the invention that is being filed for patent. There will also be certain fees required at the time filing the patent application.
Consider Hiring a Patent Attorney
How to patent an invention will vary depending on the nature of the invention itself. Furthermore, there are various laws and regulations that exist in regards to patents which can prove to be confusing to many. Therefore, it is often recommended to hire the services of a patent attorney to help with the patent application process.