If you’ve created a product or service that you want to protect, then you are going to need to apply for a patent. Once you’ve patented your product, then no one else will be able to copy your idea and if they do you can get them into serious legal trouble for it. This is a wise step to take for entrepreneurs who are just starting out and want to begin marketing their business. Once you start publishing you work in the public eye it will be easier for people to copy it if it is not properly protected.
Below is a list of steps you can take to obtain a patent. It may take time for the process to go through, but it will be worth it in the end.
Get a Patent Attorney
If you have the money in your start up fund you can save yourself a lot of struggle by hiring a patent lawyer. They are used to handling the process of applying for and obtaining patents and can guide you through the process.
However, not everyone has the money to hire an attorney and they may need to apply on their own. Keep reading for how to apply for a patent without the help of a lawyer.
1. Record Everything
You want to have documentation of your entire invention process. This is crucial for proving that the idea is yours and that you worked on it from the ground up. Date all logs that you make and be as detailed as possible.
2. Build a Prototype
If you have a physical product you want to patent it can help to build a prototype. This will show that you know how the invention works and are able to create it, which will help you to qualify for a patent.
3. Save Money
Patents do cost money to obtain. There will be filing fees throughout the process that can cost around $1,500. Make sure that you have the budget available before you begin the process.
4. Make Sure Your Idea is New
Before applying for a patent you should do thorough research to make sure there are no other patents like yours already in place. It will be a waste of time, money, and energy to apply if you are creating something that isn’t new. Even if it seems like a totally new idea to you, there could become else out there who has beat you to the punch, so make sure to dig deep and do your research.
5. File Your Application
To file your application you will need to get in touch with the USPTO. They can provide you with the paperwork and information you need to file an application for a patent. They will also be the ones who decide whether or not to approve your application. There are different kinds of applications you can file and the USPTO will be able to help you decide which is best for you.
6. Be Patient
It can take some time for your patent to be approved, so you need to be patient. It will be worth the wait in the end when you can have a one-of-a-kind product that is legally protected.