How to File a Patent Application
 
How to File a Patent Application

Haven't you ever wondered why a light bulb appears over a cartoon's head when they get an idea? Well it's no coincidence that an idea and a light bulb are so closely related: the inventor of the light bulb, Thomas Edison, is probably one of the most famous idea makers in history. Well, he inspired a wave of invention that's just getting bigger today. When an invention is made, though, there are many opportunities for the public to try to reproduce it and earn money by selling it. If you're the inventor of a product, chances are, you don't want that to happen. That's why getting a patent is useful to the inventor. A patent will consider an invention to be the sole intellectual property of the inventor or anyone who may have purchased the idea from the inventor.

Patents are filed through a government organization called the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO has developed many rules and regulations to determine if an invention qualifies for a patent. They require that a formal application is filed before a patent is considered for an invention.

Unlike other government applications that may be familiar to the average American, this is no simple one-word-answer-oriented application. The application will ask the inventor to describe the application using the codes and regulations found in a number of documents, including the US Patent Classification System, the Manual of Patent Examining Procedures, the United States Code (title 35), and Rules of Practice in Patent Cases (37CFR). The USPTO offers guides for filling out a patent application and offers some limited live help.

The application will require a number of things, the most important of which are listed. First of all, it will ask for the background of the invention, particularly how and why it was generated. The purpose of the invention is important to list in this section. It will require you to elaborate how exactly the product works in a summary and a detailed description of the invention. The description must be concise and accurate and include instructions about how an average human not familiar with the invention characteristics would go about developing one of their own. The claims part of the application will be where you describe what exactly you want the patent to protect. The rules and regulations of the USPTO are to be used very carefully here, because any lawsuits related to your invention will revolve around the protections you describe here. Finally, if you are inventing a device, you'll need to include drawings of the device. The drawings must be completed in india ink and must show every feature of the invention.

The above requirements are for a utility patent, which is what most inventions are. If you're not creating a non-live physical entity, you will fill out an application for a utility patent. There are two other types of patents: a design patent and a plant patent. A design patent, which is granted to creative changes to an already existing object, requires a much more visual-oriented application. Rules require there to be drawings of the decorative changes made to the object and possibly photographs. Similar to the utility patent application, a claim must be made on the invention. Keep in mind that in this case, only one claim is allowed.

A plant patent is given to plants or seedlings that have either been discovered by an individual or genetically engineered. The application, in this case, is much more similar to the utility patent application. The background and description of the plant are described similar to the way a utility invention is, except biological terminology must be used. In addition, the inventor must be able to argue that the plant is stable and safe to propagate. Drawings of the plant can be included, but there is no need to illustrate the plant's use.

The application must be turned into the USPTO in full with an application fee which varies based on the nature of the application. The USPTO website contains up-to-date fee schedules for inventors to review. Due to the complicated nature of the application, many people choose to have a patent attorney examine their application and suggest alterations. In any case, without a good patent application, you may not get a patent that recognizes your hard work.

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Articles
All about Design Patents

All about Patenting a Business Method

All about Plant Patents

Avoid Being Patent Trolled

About Invention Company Scams

Avoiding Patent Reproduction

Can Your Idea Be Patented

Famous and Inspiring Patent Holders

Frequently Asked Questions about Patents

Get a Patent without Using a Lawyer

Get the Confidence to Patent

How the PCT Can Help an Inventor

How to Conduct Market Research

How to File a Patent Application

How to Patent a Microorganism

Inventing as a Home Based Business

Pharmaceutical Patent Application Specifics

Software Patents Across the World

The Patent vs

Tips for Creating Quality Patent Drawings

Understanding Patent Mapping

What a Business Plan Can Do to a Patent

What Inventors Should Know About the Patent Reform Act

Why to Get a Patent Lawyer

Why to Try Your Hand at Inventing

 

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