Within your mind’s eye, a patent office might conjure up a scene ripped in the pages of Harry Potter’s wizarding world, with long cramped hallways stacked with papers (pending patents) and frantic business folks walking around attempting to beat the clock. Little, tiny old clerks nearly covered by yet more leaning towers of papers (more pending patents) as they yell, “Next, please!” on the endless line.
This could be an overwhelming image to many – especially anyone that is trying to patent an understanding, concept or how to get a patent sometime this century. But, like Harry Potter himself, this scene is not true-to-life – and though it may be certainly correct that rushing into filing for a patent is NEVER advisable, the procedure is not as harrowing as you might believe who may have never set foot on the patent path. With a little bit of patience and the right strategy, you may successfully and confidently file a patent and secure to your invention or idea the safekeeping it deserves.
As defined on dictionary.com, the first three workable of any patent are applicable for the purposes, since they describe the many ways the term “patent” can be used inside the invention industry. A patent is: 1) the exclusive right granted with a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention to get a certain years; 2) how to obtain a patent or process protected through this right; 3) an official document conferring this type of right; letters patent.
It’s been an extensive process to perfect the patent over centuries around various elements of our society, but here are some highlights. The notion of a patent is first seen historically in 500 BC where ancient Greek Sybians (now Italy) awarded and commended individuals who created “refinements in luxury.” Nearer to our current day history, England declared in 1623 that patents may be made for “projects newest inventions” and would later demand a description of the invention, comparable to our current day’s application. The very first patent in America was granted in 1790; then the following year in 1791, french government devised a process that might grant patents without examination. And society has continued perfecting the method since then…
Protecting our rights as Americans has served being a founding principle of our own country since its inception, so it should come as not surprising that there are laws and a system in position to safeguard our intellectual property, at the same time. The “Copyright Clause” in the United States Constitution, Section 8, Clause 8, authorizes Congressional power to grant both patents and copyrights. In twenty-first century America, all patents are filed with and granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a federal agency specifically designated for distributing patents, trademarks and copyrights and monitoring the full, ongoing process.
In line with the USPTO, “any person that ‘invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may get yourself a patent’.” Here’s a hint: USEFUL is really a key word within the above statement.
Protecting a potentially valuable idea or invention using a patent could be the best move you ever make as being an inventor – or it may end up being a tremendous total waste and money should you don’t execute this crucial first step at the same time: FIRST determine if the price of filing a patent and protecting an understanding may be worth the cost it will create. To put it differently, is your idea truly unique and valuable – could it be worth a good deal down the road? Or, has a similar invention been created, which would render your invention obsolete or unimportant? Or perhaps is your concept, well, just not sufficiently good to warrant filing for and spending money on a patent? Consider these tough questions now, you’ll be thankful later.
Even before you consider filing a patent, do yourself a favor and commit to conducting a certain amount of research to ascertain if your invention has already been available, or if it will be feasible or marketable. Utilize the major search engines, and type in possible keywords related to patent an invention and see what turns up. And do take some time sifting with the USPTO’s online database to uncover existing patents just like your invention. If this sounds overwhelming 19dexhpky you, it will be when you tried to sort through every patent ever granted because the 1700’s on your own. Luckily for yourself, the USPTO has generated a Seven Step Strategy for conducting your personal patent search, if you’ve got the some perserverance for the process as well as the confidence inside your idea. While you’re online, try other free patent search resources like freepatentsonline.com, and even hire a Professional Patent Searcher to complete the searching for you in the event the funds are available.
Filing a patent will require some determination, time and patience – but it really doesn’t need to be scary or foreboding! Great things take some time, right?! Below, we’ve separated the core steps you ought to take to find the patent ball rolling – and to provide some power over your inventive destiny!