Within your mind’s eye, a patent office might conjure up a scene ripped from your pages of Harry Potter’s wizarding world, with long cramped hallways stacked with papers (pending patents) and frantic business folks running around trying to beat the clock. Little, tiny old clerks nearly covered by yet more leaning towers of papers (more pending patents) while they yell, “Next, please!” for the endless line.
This is an overwhelming image to numerous – especially anyone that is looking to patent an idea, concept or patent my idea sometime this century. But, like Harry Potter himself, this scene will not be true-to-life – and though it may be certainly genuine that rushing into filing a patent is NEVER advisable, the procedure is not as harrowing as you might believe that has never set foot around the patent path. With a small amount of patience along with the right strategy, it is possible to successfully and confidently file a patent and secure for your personal invention or idea the safekeeping it deserves.
As defined on dictionary.com, the 1st three workable of your patent are applicable for our own purposes, while they describe the various ways the word “patent” can be used from the invention industry. A patent is: 1) the exclusive right granted by way of a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years; 2) patent a product or process protected from this right; 3) an official document conferring such a right; letters patent.
It’s been a lengthy process to perfect the patent over centuries around various elements of our world, but here are a few highlights. The thought of a patent is first seen historically in 500 BC where the ancient Greek Sybians (now Italy) awarded and commended people who created “refinements in luxury.” Nearer to our contemporary history, England declared in 1623 that patents may be developed for “projects of new inventions” and would later demand a description from the invention, comparable to our current day’s application. The very first patent in America was granted in 1790; then this following year in 1791, the French government devised a system that might grant patents without examination. And society has continued perfecting the procedure ever since then…
Protecting our rights as Americans has served as being a founding principle of our country since its inception, thus it should come as no great surprise that there are laws plus a system in position to safeguard our intellectual property, too. The “Copyright Clause” in the states Constitution, Section 8, Clause 8, authorizes Congressional capacity to grant both patents and copyrights. In twenty-first century America, all patents are filed with and granted by the us Patent and Trademark Office, a federal agency specifically designated for distributing patents, trademarks and copyrights and monitoring the complete, ongoing process.
In line with the USPTO, “any person who ‘invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent’.” Here’s a hint: USEFUL is actually a key word from the above statement.
Protecting a potentially valuable idea or invention by using a patent may be the best move you ever make being an inventor – or it might show to be a massive waste of time and cash should you don’t conduct this crucial 1st step along the way: FIRST see whether the fee for filing for a patent and protecting a concept is worth the price it is going to create. Quite simply, can be your idea truly unique and valuable – can it be worth a good deal later on? Or, has a similar invention been created, which will render your invention obsolete or unimportant? Or is your concept, well, simply not good enough to warrant filing for and purchasing a patent? Contemplate these tough questions now, you’ll be thankful later.
Even before you consider filing a patent, do a favor and decide on conducting a bit of research to find out if your invention is available, or if it will also be feasible or marketable. Utilize search engines, and kind in possible keywords related to can i patent an idea to see what turns up. And do spend some time sifting throughout the USPTO’s online database to uncover existing patents much like your invention. If this type of sounds overwhelming you, it will be in the event you attempted to sort through every single patent ever granted ever since the 1700’s all by yourself. Luckily for you personally, the USPTO has established a Seven Step Strategy for conducting your personal patent search, if you’ve got the time and patience for that process and also the confidence in your idea. While you’re online, try other free patent search resources like freepatentsonline.com, and even hire a Professional Patent Searcher to accomplish the trying to find you when the funds can be found.
Filing a patent can take some determination, time and patience – but it doesn’t need to be scary or foreboding! Great things take some time, right?! Below, we’ve broken down the core steps you need to take to obtain the patent ball rolling – and to provide you with some control over your inventive destiny!