What you need to do to protect your invention with a patent
What are the steps for getting a patent? The answer to that question depends on your situation. Do you have money budgeted for a patent or are you counting pennies? Do you want a provisional or a non-provisional patent? Do you want to do some of the work yourself or have professionals do everything?
If you have $10,000 - 15,000 budgeted for a patent, the answer is easy. Find several patent invention attorneys from the yellow pages and/or from recommendations of business associates. Make an appointment with several of them. Chose the one that seems the most willing to explore and expand on your ideas. Explain your idea to him. He will glean all the necessary information from you.
He will have a patent search performed. The search will determine whether your idea is wide open or whether the available patents connected with your idea have become very narrow. When you receive the patent search report, it is time for you to decide if there is value in you continuing to obtain a patent or not.
Over a period of 3-4 weeks and a series of phone conversations, the patent invention attorney will develop the components of a good patent. Each of the steps for getting a patent are vital for obtaining a good patent. They are:
- A patent search defining what patent can be obtained.
- Abstract or overview statement of the patent.
- Detailed description of the invention, referring to the drawings.
- Claims. What are the specific items that are claimed or licensed by this invention.
A provisional patent is good for one year. It is very informal in style and therefore inexpensive. The provisional patents must be converted into a full non-provisional patent within one year or it will be considered abandoned. The non-provisional patent includes all of the items shown in the patent essentials shown above.
If you want to do some of the work yourself, then go to the Invention Submission link for some pros and cons.
The steps for getting a patent are fairly straight forward. The hard part is finding a good patent attorney to work with. If you are planning to do some or all of the work yourself the difficulty goes up exponentially for a professional result. If your patent is not well done, you would be advised to save your money.