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Answering Your Questions About Patent Applications

You’ve had your first big idea, and now you want to find out how to protect it. Here are the answers to some regularly asked questions about successfully applying for a patent.

How do I file a patent application?

Successfully filing a patent application is very involved. It requires both technical and scientific knowledge of your invention as well as an understanding and knowledge of patent law and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) procedures. Many people choose to hire a patent attorney from the start because of the complexity of patent documents and the legal skills required to draft a claim.

Before you file your application, you should first search to make sure nothing similar exists. You or your lawyer should conduct a patent search before you apply for your patent.

In the patent application itself, you should thoroughly and accurately describe your invention and provide an indication of its technical field. The application should also include a background and description of your invention in clear language. The application can include visuals, such as drawings or diagrams, as well as an abstract summary of the invention. You may also want to define why you are seeking patent protection.

Additional statements, declarations and supporting documents may also be required.

What are the requirements for a patent application?

There are several conditions your invention must meet in order to qualify for a patent. A few key conditions include:

  • Novelty: Your invention must show some kind of new characteristic that does not yet exist or is not yet known in its technical field.
  • Unobvious: The invention has to involve some step that is not obviously deduced.
  • Industrial application: Your invention must be useful.
  • Applicability: Theories, aesthetic creations, methods and other non-substantive ideas may not be patentable subject matter

There are a large number of additional conditions that an invention must meet in order for the inventor to obtain a patent, but an experienced attorney can provide more information about these.

How long will it take for an application to be approved?

The length of time that it takes to approve a patent application varies based on several factors. The complexity of your invention and objections by the patent office can influence the length of time it takes to get approval.

There are ways to expedite your application, and there are various programs available to assist you, depending on the nature of your invention. Your lawyer can provide more information about these programs and possible ways to advance your application.

How much does it cost?

The cost of obtaining a patent varies widely. It often depends on the nature of the invention, its complexity and the attorney’s fees. Objections raised by the patent office may also affect the cost. All patent applications are subject to filing, search and examination fees, all of which are due when the application is filed. However, even the filing fees can vary significantly, depending on the type of patent application it is.

What Now?

If you need more information about the patent application process or are thinking about proceeding, contact the law firm of Roland Tong, Attorney for Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP. Call 1+877-426-8182 or use the online contact form to get in touch with an experienced patent attorney.