Summary: Here are seven things that you should know before applying for a patent.
You must have spent countless hours trying to invent something unique and valuable. And, now, you want to take the next step of applying for a patent. It is the only way you can register the invention under your name and get benefitted from it.
Patent Drafting Services
Usually, the next step that most inventors take is to research to find a patent attorney or a company that provides patent drafting services. But, before you get to this point, you need to take some time to do proper research to understand if your idea is original and if you can move to the next step in the patent filing process.
Here are some of the things that you need to know before applying for a patent:
Categories That Can Be Patented
You cannot get patent rights for anything and everything that you create. Hence, it would be best if you took some time to understand which category your invention falls under before you take the next step. It would be good for you to know the process you must follow to get the patent.
You should at least have a fair understanding of the processes. Many people do not put much effort into learning the process. As a result, they end up being in confusion or making mistakes that cost a lot.
Search and Research
Learn about all the websites that provide the necessary resources. It would be best to spend quality time understanding the process and its time for each step before proceeding further.
Once that is done, you should take some time to search all the websites to find information on all the public disclosures. Your research should not stop after looking for patent information in the U.S. alone but also check globally to see if anyone else has submitted this idea before you.
USPTO is going to do this task. But, if you want to save your time and effort, you need to take the help of an expert. Get in touch with the PTRC or Patent and Trademark Resource Center. They would connect you to an expert who can help you in the application process.
The Actual Inventor
You must know that you can apply for the patent only if you are the one who did the invention. You would not get patent rights if you did not do it. If you are not the inventor, you should refrain from the idea of getting the patent rights. There is no way you can get the patent rights under the U.S. Patent Right policies.
Inventions That You Can Patent
Not all things can receive patent rights. Certain items or inventions do not get a patent. Here are some things that you cannot get patent, and you should not waste your time and effort on it:
- Physical phenomena
- Laws of nature
- Abstract ideas
- Inventions that are not useful
- Dramatic, musical, and literary works (You need to get a copyright and not a patent for these things)
- Inventions that are offensive to the people’s morality
But, here are some things that can receive patent:
- Novel inventions
- Inventor is claiming it through terms that are definite and clear
Prepare an Invention Disclosure
Before you share the details of your invention with any professional, it is wise to get their signature on the invention disclosure. You should use an agreement that protects your rights.
Take time to speak with your legal advisor to get a proper NDA or non-disclosure agreement. Read the document couple of times to ensure that all the clauses are reasonable enough to protect your invention. Always remember this document when you are planning to share your creation or thoughts with others.
Patent Attorney Services
A patent attorney is a person who is well-versed with the policies and procedures that one must follow to get a patent for their inventions. They will help reduce the time and effort you must put in if you work all by yourself. You should find a patent attorney that has vast experience and expertise in this work. Do not hire a patent attorney without doing proper research.
Patent Drafting Services
It would be best if you had the assistance of a company that provides patent drafting services and has vast experience in this area. Do not forget that pictures help visualize what your invention is and help you get the patent.
Take time to search for a firm that has a good name and reputation. The patent illustrator needs to sign the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before carrying out any work for you.
You should not partner with any company that wants to do this task. Take your time to research for the best firm that can do this job for you. The time you spend researching will help you locate the best firm among all the available options.