You have just invented the next multimillion dollar gadget. You worked hard perfecting the invention. The prototype is launched and everyone who has seen and used it, rave about it. You realize that you better patent it before someone steals your idea. You need to get a patent. The following is a guide to register your gadget for a patent. There are approximately ten steps that you will need to follow to acquire your patent.
Step 1: You need to check if your invention has already been patented. You can access the information on-line. Staff will be able to assist you in your search. If you find a patent, you stop right here.
Step 2: If you are on Step 2, that is excellent news. At this stage you need to tell why type of application you are filing:
Design Patent: applies to ornamental designs. Example would be computer icons, jewelry, beverage containers.
Plant Patent: This covers a new variety of asexually reproduced plants.
Utility Patent: This is the most common patent applied for. It covers machines, articles of manufacture and composition of matter.
Step 3: Type of filing: Globally or U.S. If you file globally, you will need to check out international protection. If you are filing in the U.S., you go to Step 4.
Step 4: You will have to determine if you Patent Application is going to be provisional or non-provisional.
Provisional is an option that saves money for the inventor. It allows the inventor to have 12 months before filing the non-provisional. Non-provisional Patent becomes part of the permanent records. There are protocols that have to be followed. It has to be written in black ink or computer, on 8 x 11 white paper. You have to include on separate paper a drawing as well as dimensions.
Step 5: Expedited examination. The patent is examined.
Step 6: File – File yourself (Pro Se) or Registered Attorney of Agent (Recommended) by USPTO.
Step 7: Electoronic Filing for a Patent on e-Filer
Step 8: USPTO examines the application and if it is okayed, go to Step 9.
Step 9: Applicant gets Notice of Allowance and fees due.
Step 10: After payment of the issue fee and publication fee, USPTO grants patent.
The patent process takes quite a while. After you get it you have to continue to pay maintenance fees at 3 1/2 years, 7 1/2, and 11 1/2 years after the patent grant. After 12 years, you need to renew the patent.
Now that you have your patent, you are ready to make a million dollars. Congratulations!