How to Patent an Idea

Find Out How to Properly Patent Your Idea in the United States


Do you have a brilliant and an outstanding idea in your mind, followed by the threat that someone may take it away from you and make use of it before you could apply it? Then you are probably wondering how to quickly patent your idea. A patent is a form of intellectual property and will prevent your ideas from being used without your consent.

Be careful to never disclose your invention to any friend or any person without proper protections. If you share your invention or idea with someone else and do not have proper legal protections in place, you are actually authorizing others to use your idea.

What Exactly is a Patent

Patents are protections for inventors who properly file, so that the patented invention cannot be used or sold by others for a definite time. You, as inventor, are not protected by a patent useless it is approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). This process is very complex and also takes time. It is highly suggested, and in the inventor’s best interest, to get a patent lawyer in order to get through all the paperwork of the patent. A patent attorney will ensure that your application is completed correctly and includes all the proper legal claims that are required by the USPTO.

Patent protection helps keep your inventions safe from others and you possess ownership of the particular patented idea. If someone needs to work on your idea, it will require proper permission from you. However, you reserve complete rights to sell your idea at your own price for partial or full use of the idea. If someone uses it without your permission and approval, you have right to sue the person in a court of law. This is also known as intellectual property infringement.

It is therefore recommended that you always get patent protection for your ideas as this protection may lead you towards more opportunities to accelerate your invention (and business) and keep competitors from stealing your ideas. If you are in the process of developing an invention, you should learn about invention patents and employee rights.

Steps to Getting a Patent on Your Own Without an Attorney

To many people, patenting their invention seems to be more trouble than it is worth. It seems like a lot of paperwork and legal procedures. This is however a misconception. While filing for a patent application is not something to be done in one afternoon, there are specific steps that you can follow. As long as you have your invention ready, here are the steps you can take to get a United States patent. In fact, you do not need a legal expert to help you navigate the way to your patent, it is just highly recommended if you are serious about your ideas. Though your patent may get approved, it is possible it still will not be fully protected.

1. Record Every Step of Your Invention

This step requires you to record everything concerning your invention including what inspired you to do it, why you made the product, how you did it and how long it took. In addition to this, record diagrams of the original product and any later modifications. Where necessary, include dates and have your signature and two others on each entry. All of this information helps to prove the originality of your invention and make the patent application process successful. You can even build a prototype to increase your chances of success.

2. Check Whether Your Idea is Eligible for a Patent

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has a number of conditions that an idea must meet before it is granted patent protection. Most importantly, your idea must be new and different from any other before. It also must have some practical use, not be an abstract idea, not be a law of nature, and you must show how it works.

3. Determine the Commercial Viability of Your Idea

Not all ideas can be turned into money making ventures. Even a good one may not turn out to be a great commercial business. So before you invest your money, time and effort into applying for a patent, check whether your idea has any chance of succeeding commercially.

To do this you will need to write down a business plan and most importantly, do some market research. A business plan will help determine if a profitable business model is possible. With market research you will be able to predict the demand for your product and thus probable sales. It also helps in refining your target customers and weighing the competition, if any.

4. Do a Patent Search to Ensure that the Idea Does Not Already Exist

There are already thousands of other patents and so there is a chance that you could be infringing on another person’s patent. To avoid this, do a thorough search for other patents similar to yours.

The best place to start is the internet; it contains tons of information containing recent and past inventions. You should also pay the USPTO site a visit. Alternatively, find a nearby Patent and Trademark Depository Library and go through the records there.

Before starting the search, understand that it is a time consuming process but an extremely important one to the patent application. Also, you may during your search inventions in the same area as yours. Let this not discourage you from filing for patent protection. If you can show how your product is new and different, you can still be granted a patent.

5. Create and File Your Application with the USPTO

Now that you are ready to kick off the official application process, you need to determine exactly what kind of patent you need. There are utility patents, design patents and plant patents. The one you choose depends on your invention.

After you have chosen which type of patent to apply for, you still need to decide whether to file for a provisional patent application which offers temporary protection or a non provisional patent application. There are, of course, other more specific steps to follow during the actual patent application filing. Again, USPTO’s website has all the information you need.

Once you have successfully filed for patent protection, the only thing left is to wait for the USPTO to either reject or accept your application. If it is rejected you can reapply or appeal. If your idea is not eligible for patent protection you can still protect it through other means like trademarks, copyrights, or by declaring it to be a trade secret.

File a Patent Application for Your Idea Properly

There are three major parts to obtaining a new patent which are explained in further detail below:

  1. Find out if your idea is patentable or has been already patented
  2. Determine which type of patent you will need to file
  3. File the proper application forms for your patent with the USPTO (and/or Internationally) (USPTO Patent FAQ)

The first step in the patenting process is to determine whether your idea is patentable or not. You must do a search to find out if your idea, invention, product, process, or design has already been patented or otherwise disclosed. Then you need to figure out the answers to the following questions:

  • Is your idea novel?
  • Is it nonobvious?
  • Is your invention useful?

All abstract ideas, natural processes, and phenomenon are not patentable, even if they are useful. However, if it is relevant to some machine work, process, literature, music, then it is patentable. Moreover, your idea should be non-obvious in nature and publicly presentable/non-offensive. If there is someone who could, by his/her knowledge, have thought what you have invented, then it is also not patentable or non-obvious.

The second step is to find out what type of patent you wish to file. In this step you might wish to (and we recommend you) get counsel from a registered patent attorney. The use of an attorney, or patent agent, is going to ease your strain. They will complete all of the necessary paperwork and will make all the registration processes much easier and understandable for you.

Get information on patenting an ideaOnce you are ready to file for an application, you must be clear about the three main categories of patents. The first major category is utility patents, also known as “patents for invention.” They are granted for the invention of any new and useful process, machinery, engineering, etc. Utility patents are the most common patents in the United States. In fact, 90% of the patents issued by the USPTO in recent years have been utility patents.

The second category involves the patent for Designs. If your idea is related to a shape, ornament, design, look, etc., then it is patentable under this category.

The last category is Plant Patents, when someone invents reproduction of new varieties of any plant.

In step three, you must determine what application you are going to file and how you are going to complete it. It is important in this step to review all types of patent applications, view templates, samples, or examples of other patents that are similar to yours, and talk to a patent attorney or patent agent to get a full understanding of each type of application and what they entail.

Provisional Patent Application (PPA): The inventor may apply for provisional patent protection. It is generally applicable for a period up to 12 months. After the 12 months, the inventor needs to apply for a non-provisional patent. A non-provisional patent provides protection of the invention within the United States for the period from 14 to 20 years depending upon the nature of invention.

This application requires that the invention be described, explained how to make and use it, and include a drawing of the product or invention itself. You can no longer claim the PPA filling date after one year if you do not file a RPA.

Regular Patent Application (RPA): The third strategy is to apply for an international patent protection. The owner of the idea is allowed to submit a filing for patent protection in any of the single approved international languages with one patent at a time. This will protect the patent within the PTC (Patent Treaty Countries) of the world at the same time. Make sure before filing your application for registration, you get a digital certificate from the USPTO’s website. This will guarantee your application is safe.

Many documents will be required while registering online, including the statement of your invention, its applications, whether useful or not, and the oath that it only belongs to you and you have not stolen it from any other who used it prior to you. We recommend these documents to be in PDF format and easily portable. A special and unique code and reference number will be provided to you for reference-keeping and interaction with the USPTO. Now you are ready to fill out the online application form by authorizing it via entering a special code.

At the end of the process, the patent application fee shall be displayed on the screen. After you complete the boxes carefully in the fee section, it is followed by two options: “pay now” or “pay later”. If it is paid on the spot, you will be required to enter a valid credit card number with sufficient balance. On the other hand, choosing “pay later” will require the fee to be deposited by midnight of the same day, failure to which you will be charged an extra fee.

Now you must wait; your application must be reviewed by the examiners of the USPTO. If it is approved, then you will have to deposit the requisite fee depending on the length of the protection period. Otherwise, on rejection of application, you have one chance to appeal for re-consideration.

Steps to Patent an Idea

Gain an understanding of the steps in the patenting process.

Did you create something unique and useful? Then start the patent application process as soon as possible; people might be trying to steal it. You must understand that only ideas that are in the concrete stage of development are subject to a patent. If you can describe something so well that anyone can use it, you can apply for a patent. So let’s talk about the steps to patent your idea.

Patent Overview

If you are granted a patent by the USPTO, you will have the exclusive rights for selling your invention for up to twenty years – other people will not have the right to make it or use it.

Utility patents are the most common form of patent, which protects your rights in useful and new machines, processes, and other things. Improvements that are made to existing items or processes, in ways that are nonobvious, are also included in these types of patents.

You need to make sure your invention is unique in the market, so research previous patents – disclosed inventions that are publicly available must be included in your research too. A patent attorney will give you the upper hand while conducting research as well as throughout the entire patent process. You must keep a detailed record of your idea before filing for your patent. Use a log book to write down every step of your invention. Both the date and your signature must appear at the bottom of each page. Two witnesses will help you get your logbook verified. Search through all the databases you can find that deal with patents in the United States. Consider other countries, universities, and even Google (Scholar, Web, images, etc.), just to make sure no one else had the same idea.

Commercial Appeal

  • Find out whether your invention has commercial appeal. You need to understand that submitting a patent application is a costly process, so you need to make sure there is something for you in terms of return on investment. Patent licensing is a good way generate income with a patent. If you need more ideas, check out our guide to making money with a patent.

Provisional Application

  • A provisional patent application will give you temporary protection of your rights. It can be useful if you are developing your idea or seeking some sort of funding. There is no need to provide lots of details and paying high fees when filing a provisional application compared to non-provisional patents. The USPTO will not examine the contents of the provisional application, so you will save time. You will be able to use “patent pending” on the product when you talk about the patent, which is valid for only 12 months (a non-provisional application must be filed with 12 months of the provisional patent’s filing date).

Non-Provisional Application

Examination and Filing Process

  • To file your patent application, use either mail or the Web. Keep in mind the fees are non-refundable.

We have talked about some ways to patent your idea, and you need to take action in order to see results. You have to make sure no one else had the same idea, so search through international and national patent databases – this process will keep you free from problems in the future.

Get Help with Patenting Your Idea

We will help you file for your patent the right way. Fill out our form for a FREE 15-minute consultation with one of our intellectual property lawyers who will give you the help you need. Find out how to patent a business idea.

Cost to Patent an Idea

Find out the cost for patenting your ideas or products.If you have created an invention, new process, new design or new plant, you need to protect it against intellectual property theft with a patent. A patent is a form of intellectual property and will enable you to keep the rights and control of the financial benefits of your idea. Your protect-able invention needs to be described in detail so that any technical person can understand how to build it and how to use the invention. Once your invention is described in detail you are ready to file a patent application. The patent process should start with a patent search in order to get a realistic idea whether your invention can be protected or not. It is recommended to have a professional patent search done for you. You can use the services of a specialized patent attorney through Intellectual Pats. A professional patent search will uncover anything that needs to be considered during the drafting stage of a patent application It is important to go through the research stage before deciding to apply for a patent because of the high cost to patent an idea. Remember, keep your idea secret!

Fees Associated with Patents

After you get past the patent search stage and have decided to move forward, you may consider filing a provisional patent application. The fee to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for provisional patent applications for a small entity with less than 500 employees, is currently $130 and for micro-entities is just $65. Your provisional patent application needs to describe your invention. You will have a “patent pending” the moment you file a provisional patent application. If you file a provisional patent, you must file a non provisional patent application within 12 months of your filing date. In order to start the non-provisional patent process you will have to file a non-provisional patent application with the USPTO. You also have the option of filing an International Application.

The cost to patent an idea varies tremendously; however, the USPTO government filing fee is $400 or $730 for most non-provisional utility patent applications.

Once your non-provisional patent application is filed, it will go for preliminary review by the Patent Office. A specialized patent attorney such as used by Intellectual Pats, can help you prepare the documentation and file your patent application. If your non-provisional patent application is missing some required material, your attorney will receive a notice that will explain what must be submitted and when.

For the privilege of this later filing you will have to pay an extra fee. Once you pay the fee and the patent application is complete, the next step in the process is waiting for the examiner to determine whether you have a single invention or multiple inventions present in your application. The US Patent Office only allows you to file for a single invention patent in each application.

Your patent application is ready at this point to enter the examination phase. How quickly you will have the examiner reviewing the application varies depending upon the invention complexity. In some cases it could take as long as three years. For a design patent application it can take between six and eight months. For a non provisional patent application it takes in average 12 to 18 months, or even longer.

Another cost for almost all patent applications is the requirement for formal illustrations (patent drawings). Unless you know how to provide professional illustrations that meet the USPTO regulations, you should plan on spending around $300 to $1,000 to have the formal illustrations done by a professional who is familiar with patent illustration drawings.

Lawyer costs for drafting a provisional patent application can average around $1,000 to 2,000 and for a non-provisional patent can average $8,000 or much more depending on the complexity. Learn more regarding patent application fees.

How a Patent Lawyer Can Save You Money

Get approved for a patent In the case that you need a quicker review of your patent application, you can use the acceleration program offered by the USPTO where you are able to get a patent decision within six months. The additional fee for being included in the acceleration program is $2,000 for small entities. You also can expect to pay an additional charge of $500 to $1,000 in order to prepare the request. A patent attorney will handle all of the aforementioned requirements for you. This will enable you to focus on perfecting your ideas and/or developing your process. Imagine researching intellectual property laws for countless hours, taking months to submit a patent application just to have your application denied.

Intellectual Pats has registered patent attorneys who have substantial experience with intellectual property law. A patent lawyer will boost the chances of your application being granted a patent. Fill out the form on this page or call us today to schedule your FREE 15 minute consultation with a licensed attorney who will work to give you all the help you need.

How to Patent a Product or Invention

patenting a product or invention

If you are interested in product patents, software patents, invention patents or any other type of patents, then you have come to the right place.

Before we focus on the best approaches to patenting a product, it is essential to know precisely what a patent is. A patent is a property right for an innovation, given by a government to an inventor. A United States patent offers inventors the right to exclude others from making, utilizing, marketing, or offering their invention in the United States or importing it into the United States, for a statutory time frame (depending on the type of patent), in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent expires. Find out more about inventors’ rights.

Getting a Product Patent is Simple

In order to obtain a patent for an item, you must determine if you will file for a design patent, utility patent or a plant patent.

  • You will probably want to submit a design patent application if your item has unique decorative qualities.
  • If your product is a new and useful procedure, device, or manufacturing method then you should apply for a utility patent.
  • If your product consists of all the formerly referenced requirements, for both design and utility patents, then you could theoretically apply for both a utility and design patent for your product!
  • If you have discovered or created a new type of plant, then you will be filing for a plant patent.

If your product or invention qualifies for one of these types of patents, then you will next have to determine which type of application (non provisional patent application or provisional patent application) you want to file for.

The minute you have figured out and collected all of this information, you will undergo a patent application process that is full of lawful claims and obligations.

Should You Get an Attorney?

A licensed patent attorney has a specialized set of abilities and education in patent law, USPTO cases, regulations, and processes. They will also be able to advise you on which patent you need to apply for, the legal demands of that patent, and if a non-provisional or provisional patent would best fit your particular situation.

Intellectual Pats has a comprehensive network of intellectual property, patent licensing, and business attorneys that are able to help you file a patent application. Patenting an idea could be as simple as using the patent attorneys through Intellectual Pats. Fill out the form or call 844-884-3504 to secure a FREE 15 minute consultation today and experience for yourself how we have helped hundreds of people get a patent!

How to Patent a Business Idea

Young business man in suit presenting colorful hand drawn metrop

There is a huge difference between dreaming about a great invention/idea that will bring in loads of money and actually turning it into a viable enterprise. If you think that you have a brilliant idea that you would not like other people to steal, you are strongly advised to find all the necessary details on how to patent an idea. Before you start this, carry out extensive research to make certain that the idea is unique and will provide a competitive advantage over what is in the marketplace today.

When you are done, it is important to keep your plan a secret until you are done with the process so that no one can profit from your ideas.

Hiring a patent attorney to review your business idea and coach you on appropriate protection, patent licensing options, sale options, etc. is in your best interest. Although patent attorneys are expensive, they are worth the money. You must make sure that you hire an experienced, skilled and qualified patent lawyer that understands these business, technology, and law issues regarding intellectual property. Have you been looking to learn more about the patent application process for businesses? Intellectual Pats is here to help! Start by filling out the form on this page or calling the number at the top to schedule a 15 minute FREE consultation with an intellectual property lawyer who will work to give you all the help you need.

Costs Related to the Patent Application Process

First, the government filing fee (for most patents) is $400 or $730 for a non-provisional utility patent application. This is where examiners will check the application and conduct a search in a bid to confirm if your invention is original. When this is done, a final examination will take place and if approved, you will be required to pay a final fee of $200 so that the patent can be granted.

Next, almost all patent applications require formal illustrations (patent drawings). Unless you know how to develop professional illustrations that meet the USPTO drawing regulations you should plan on spending around $300 to $1,000 to have the formal illustrations done by a professional who is familiar with patent illustration drawings.

Lawyer costs for drafting a provisional patent application can average around $1,500 to $2,000.

For a non provisional patent application, fees can average $8,000 or can cost much more, depending on the complexity of the patent.

As a business person, you also need to remember that when the patent forms are submitted, the process for patenting an idea does not end. You will also be required to conduct market research, locate funding, etc. More about the cost to patent an idea.

Patent Help

There are some people who may feel like they do not want to go through the entire process alone. This is one of the main reasons you are advised to sign up with Intellectual Pats. We are a company that was specifically set up to help people with their patenting issues. You can be assured that you will not have to deal with the tedious patent process alone, because we will do the heavy lifting required to make sure your intellectual property gets the protection it needs.

If you have any questions on how to patent a business idea, call us today at 844-884-3504.

How to Patent a Website Idea

If you own a website or business idea (Software as a Service (“SaaS”), freeware, embedded in a device, or enterprise), it is important to protect your unique invention from people that may want to profit from your ideas. It is also vital to protect your intellectual property so as not to mislead your customers, as this can have a huge impact on the overall sales you make. If you are searching for information regarding how to patent your website idea, we hope you will find the following guide helpful.

Steps to Patent Your Website Idea

businessman searching for website patent

Firstly, you have to ask yourself if your website idea qualifies for patent. You can review if your website idea is eligible for patent by doing a patent search through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. There, you can take a look at lists of innovations that may or may not be allowed patent rights. For your idea to pass this test it should be straightforward and practical.

Now that you are comfortable that your website idea is eligible for patent, the next step entails visiting the United States Patent and Trademark Official Website which can be accessed at www.uspto.gov and start the patent application process. However, in order for your application to be officially accepted you have to able to prove that your website is unique and not owned elsewhere and that its “imitation” will result to financial loss. You will also be required to give reasons why it’s necessary to protect your website idea with a patent. Other supporting documents such as drawings, diagrams and logos should be attached, together with the appropriate patent application fees to the USPTO which can be done electronically.

Intellectual Pats Can Help You!

Once you have satisfied the examiners requirements that your patent is unique, your website idea will be protected by a patent; but if your application is rejected, you can argue against it by giving further proof as may be requested by the patent examiner. If you find it a challenge to argue your case, you can always ask for help from our patent attorneys who shall correct important patent information and even submit it on your behalf. Our attorneys can help you submit your website idea quickly and accurately.

If you need help on how to patent an idea or the patent process, feel free to schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation with one of our licensed lawyers who will work to give you all the help you need. Our attorneys can help you argue your claim for patent and ensure that your intellectual rights are protected and safe in the market. Fill out the form or call us to get started today!