In your mind’s eye, a patent office might conjure up a scene ripped through the pages of Harry Potter’s wizarding world, with long cramped hallways stacked with papers (pending patents) and frantic business folks walking around trying to beat the time. Little, tiny old clerks nearly included in yet more leaning towers of papers (more pending patents) as they yell, “Next, please!” towards the endless line.
This is a challenging image to many people – especially anyone that is trying to patent a perception, concept or patent my idea sometime this century. But, like Harry Potter himself, this scene is just not true-to-life – and even though it is certainly correct that rushing into filing a patent is rarely advisable, the procedure is not as harrowing as you might believe who may have never set foot in the patent path. With a bit of patience along with the right plan of action, you are able to successfully and confidently file a patent and secure for your invention or idea the safekeeping it deserves.
As defined on dictionary.com, the initial three workable of your patent are applicable for our purposes, since they describe the many ways the phrase “patent” is commonly used in the invention industry. A patent is: 1) the exclusive right granted by way of a government for an inventor to produce, use, or sell an invention for any certain number of years; 2) patent a product or process protected from this right; 3) an official document conferring this type of right; letters patent.
It’s been a long process to perfect the patent over centuries around various parts of our society, but here are several highlights. The notion of a patent is first seen historically in 500 BC where ancient Greek Sybians (now Italy) awarded and commended people who created “refinements in luxury.” Even closer to our modern day history, England declared in 1623 that patents could possibly be created for “projects of new inventions” and would later call for a description in the invention, much like our current day’s application. The first patent in the united states was granted in 1790; then your following year in 1791, the French government devised a process that might grant patents without examination. And society has continued perfecting the method ever since then…
Protecting our rights as Americans has served like a founding principle of our own country since its inception, so it should come as no great surprise that you have laws along with a system in position to protect our intellectual property, too. The “Copyright Clause” in the usa Constitution, Section 8, Clause 8, authorizes Congressional ability to grant both patents and copyrights. In twenty-first century America, all patents are filed with and granted by america Patent and Trademark Office, a federal agency specifically designated for distributing patents, trademarks and copyrights and monitoring the whole, ongoing process.
In accordance with the USPTO, “any individual that ‘invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent’.” Here’s a hint: USEFUL can be a key word inside the above statement.
Protecting a potentially valuable idea or invention having a patent might be the best move you ever make for an inventor – or it might end up being a huge total waste of time and cash if you don’t execute this crucial initial step during this process: FIRST see whether the fee for filing a patent and protecting a concept will be worth the cost it would create. To put it differently, can be your idea truly unique and valuable – could it be worth a good deal down the line? Or, carries a similar invention recently been created, which will render your invention obsolete or unimportant? Or maybe your concept, well, just not good enough to warrant filing for and paying for a patent? Consider these tough questions now, you’ll be thankful later.
Even before you consider filing a patent, do a favor and decide on conducting a bit of research to determine should your invention is already around, or maybe if it would even be feasible or marketable. Utilize the major search engines, and kind in possible keywords related to new invention idea and find out what turns up. And do spend some time sifting through the USPTO’s online database to uncover existing patents similar to your invention. If this type of sounds overwhelming 19dexhpky you, it might be when you made an effort to search through every single patent ever granted since the 1700’s all by yourself. Luckily for you personally, the USPTO has established a Seven Step Strategy for conducting your personal patent search, if you’ve got the some perserverance for the process along with the confidence with your idea. While you’re online, try other free patent search resources like freepatentsonline.com, or even engage a Professional Patent Searcher to accomplish the looking for you when the funds can be found.
Filing a patent will require some determination, time and patience – but it really doesn’t have to be scary or foreboding! Great things require time, right?! Below, we’ve split up the core steps you should take to find the patent ball rolling – and to provide you with some control of your inventive destiny!