Do you have an idea? You will want to protect it and by doing this, you will need to eventually get a patent. But before diving straight into applying for a patent, follow these steps to help turn your idea into reality!
1. First things first, ALWAYS write down your idea and all of the details, just make sure to keep all of this secure. You will be able to Establish ownership with the proper documentation by recording everything in a journal. Jot down the concept, the design, and any marketing ideas. Try to always include a witness signature and never forget the dates. It is important to start this process at the beginning of any invention and keep this in a safe and secure place.
2. The next step is to look to see if there is already a patent out there that is similar to your idea. This is when you want to meet with an attorney. Even though you won’t be applying for a patent right away, you will want to get started on the process. An attorney will help you conduct a preliminary patent search. This will be extensive and extremely important, which is why it is best to leave it up to the pros. At this time, you might want to consider filing a preliminary application, which gives the applicant the security to an early filing day, which helps preserve the rights of the invention. Remember though, this expires one year after filing, so make sure you continue on with the process in a timely manner.
3. Next, before taking things a little further, do you have a market for your idea? You need to make sure that enough people will love your idea and that it will be successful. This is where more research is going to be needed before diving into the project completely.
4. If your idea seems promising, it is time to move forward! Start small by making a design and business plan to get everything in place. This is where you will want to make a prototype, a 3-D model, and illustrate any ideas. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row before fully submitting your patent application to avoid denial.
5. Now is the time to apply for the patent! You will need to apply for a patent on your idea through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. There are 2 main types of patents. A utility patent is granted to anyone that invents any useful and machine,process composition of matter or article of manufacture. This patent lasts up to 20 years. A design patent is granted to anyone who invents a new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. This patent lasts up to 15 years and is easier to obtain than a utility patent.
Working with a Patent Attorney
Looking to obtain a patent? Always seek the advice of an experienced Phoenix patent attorney.
A skilled patent attorney will have a license to represent clients before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.