How Do I Patent An Idea – Must Reading For Inventors
If you are wondering how do I patent an idea I have, you will want to read this important information for inventors. The first thing to keep in mind is that the patent process can take a long time. Simply put, you don’t just submit an application and the next week you get it back. Also, this process can get potentially expensive by my standards if you decide to use a patent lawyer. Please keep in mind they will sometimes be referred to as a lawyer who practices in the field of intellectual property. Thus, if you enlist the help of such resources, it will cost more than doing it on your own. However, if it is the first time going through the process, I would encourage you to get the help of a professional. With that said, some may say that doing it on your own could be potentially more expensive in the long run if you don’t get your patent because you did not do things correctly. But no matter what route you decide to take, it is important still to know as much as you can about how do I patent something.
The first important lesson I learned is something every inventor should know. When I went to an expert for help, I asked him how do I patent my idea. He listened to what I had in mind and then he told me something very important. You cannot patent an abstract idea. However, you can patent theoretically the way you operationalize it. Simply put, you might have an abstract idea for a flying machine. You can’t patent that abstraction. However, you might be patenting some unique means by which to specifically fly through the air. Hopefully you see the difference. One is just that, a nebulous idea. However, the other one, as I comprehend it, is an invention. Thus, consider asking yourself am I trying to patent a thought or an invention? It’s more complicated than I have explained it here, but it is a good starting point I feel. Ask your counsel to explain it in greater detail. Furthermore, it appears you can get a utility patent on such things as a process or machine. To learn more, I would recommend you visit the www.uspto.gov/inventors page. There you will find a plethora of resources to educate you more on what you might expect.
Another thing to consider if asking how do I patent my invention, is to flesh out. What does your idea do exactly, what does it look like, how does it work. These are all important questions to ask especially if you are working with a professional. Simply stated, you will want to be able to clearly communicate your idea to him or her. If it is not concrete in your mind, how are you going to convey it to someone else. More importantly, if the person who is helping you is charging by the hour, you will want to be as efficient as possible and as clear as possible. One of the hardest things to realize is that it is hard to come up with an original idea that is novel. Thus, one thing I would like to tell inventors is that they might want to spend some money having a search done to see if prior art exists. When I went down this path with my idea, I was amazed at how many things were found that were similar to my invention. I didn’t find an exact match, but it was hard to tell if my invention was different enough, novel, and not obvious. I had to make an important decision after those search results to go forward. Then, I turned to my lawyer for his opinion. He told me that some come back as an exact match and others come back with nothing really close. However, he felt mine was in between. Thus, the decision to proceed was mine.
I decided to go forward, but what I was not expecting was how technical everything became. In addition to describing the invention, my counsel had to write claims. To me, these were in essence statements about what I was claiming. I also had to have drawings of my invention done and numbered in a specific manner. The one thing I didn’t realize is just how lengthy the process can potentially be. I have not heard back on my patent application in over a year. I am cautiously optimistic, but don’t know how long it will take. I was told it would take a while because I did not follow the expedited approach. If you would like to learn more, I would encourage you to examine the uspto.gov/inventors site. I hope you have learned a little from my experience on how to patent an idea you might have.
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