Sometimes people come up with really great and unique ideas which are easily stole by others and presented as their own. Patents protect great ideas. A patent is a legal document that gives a person legal rights to an idea, a product or an invention and allows them to exclude others from using, making or selling their idea, product or invention. Most patents are granted for a fixed period.
If you feel that your idea or invention has great potential, you can have it patented; however, some ideas dont need patents!. In order to get a patent, you need to follow three simple steps:
• You need to fill out the necessary forms and documentation to place the request.
• You need to do extensive research.
• You need to hire an IP lawyer.
Before you start the process of obtaining a patent, there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself. These are:
• Are you ready to have your invention patented?
• Is it completely finished?
• Do you have a prototype that is working?
• Have you tested all aspects of your invention?
If you cannot answer the above questions, it means that you are not ready to get your idea patented. Once you have convinced yourself that your invention is ready to be patented, you need to do extensive research. First of all, do a patent search to see if there are inventions made by others which are similar to your invention. It is always advisable to hire a patent agent or attorney to conduct a professional search.
If you do come across similar inventions, you will need to properly study them to determine the difference. You will need to identify what makes your invention unique. Does it have additional features in comparison to the other inventions or does it do things in a better and more efficient manner? Please note that only the unique features and novelties of your invention will be patented.
As stated earlier, you must hire a patent lawyer to help you patent your idea; the lawyer that you hire and his group of technical experts must be skilled and must have knowledge and expertise in the area of your invention. This is important because the lawyer will need to clearly examine all aspects of invention and assist you with the patent application process.
This process is one of the most difficult and time consuming processes because you are required to relay every little detail about your invention to the patent office. For example, you need to explain to the office in details how you made your invention, what are its intended uses, what is its novelty and how it improves the state of the art.
A part of the application process includes determining the type of patent to apply for. There are two main types of patents. These are:
• Invention Patents used to protect new products, methods or processess for producing or doing something, as well as improvements on an existing product
• Utility Model Patents, also known as the petty patent, protects the new practical and technical solution relating to the shape or structure given to tools, working instruments, utensiles or devices for practical work, that imply a better functionality.
Some of the standard things which you must include in the application process are:
• An outline of your invention
• An outline of earlier inventions that are relevant to your current invention (the prior art)
• A detailed account of how your invention improves the prior art and how will be put into practice
• Your claims which is the legal description of your invention
• Any supporting diagrams or drawings that you may have
Once you have filled in all of the necessary forms and have an outline of all of the required documents, you need to submit your idea to the patent office and will be required to pay a submission fee. Your application will be published and then examined, after which you will receive feedback from the patent office. In most cases applications are most likely observed by the examiner. You will however be given the opportunity to have your lawyer make amendments and clarifications to the application and resubmit it.
Once your patent application has been submitted, you do not need to wait for an answer before proceeding with your invention. You can actually start pursuing your invention further and can label it as patent pending.
The process of obtaining a patent for your invention can be a lengthy one, so do not get easily frustrated and give up. Keep trying. Make as many amendments and clarifications as required and keep submitting your patent application. If you have a strong case, your invention will eventually obtain the patent after which you can exclude anyone you want to from reproducing your invention as their own.
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