If you want to secure a patent for an invention or technology you or your company has developed, there are several things you’ll need to do to ensure that the patent process is successful. Let’s take a quick review of the five vital steps to getting a patent:
1. Pinpoint the protection you need
There are different kinds of intellectual property; therefore, there are different ways to protect that intellectual property. As such, prior to taking the first steps toward the completion of your patent application, make sure that you really require a patent as there are different forms of intellectual property protection that could apply — such as copyrights, marketing plans, trademarks and trade secrets. In fact, you might need some combination of these protections.
2. Is your idea eligible for a patent?
You’ll need to determine the answers to several questions. Has someone already patented or publicly disclosed a similar invention to yours? Is your creation even eligible for a patent? Some things that are common knowledge or too general will not be eligible for patents.
3. What kind of patent do you require?
There several different kinds of patents that require different types of applications. These types are utility patents, design patents and plant patents. Each of these patents have different standards for acceptance.
4. Decide whether you’ll hire legal representation
It’s possible to proceed with your patent application on your own without legal representation. However, the guidance and assistance of an attorney can be helpful through this process. There will be costs associated with legal services, but sometimes, these costs will pay dividends later on down the road if you ever wish to sell or protect your patent.
5. Prepare and file your application
The final stage involves the preparation of appropriate evidence and the completion and submission of your patent application.
The more you understand about the idea or invention you wish to protect, the patenting process and patenting law, the better chances of success you will have. Make sure you’re completely informed and confidently prepared before you begin this process.