It takes a long time for a patent application to go through the process—21-24 months on average! So why go through the headache of applying for one? What makes it worth it?
Well, if your patent application gets approved, you are granted exclusive rights to your invention for 20 years in general. Within those 20 years, you can make money off of your invention, sell the patent, or do whatever you want to do with it. If anyone attempts to copy your patent, you can sue them for patent infringement in a court of law.
The governing body in charge of patents in the United States is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or the USPTO. Whether or not your patent will be approved will rest entirely on their approval. Patent applications tend to be complex and confusing, and generally we recommend that you hire an experienced patent attorney so you can avoid the risk of getting your application denied or rejected.
A Brief Overview of the Patent Process
- Record EVERYTHING! In the process of inventing something, make sure you document the process. Create prototypes. Have witnesses date and sign your work. Do what is necessary to prove that you were the original inventor because sometimes, a patent approval will come down to who did what first.
- Find out if your idea has already been patented. If it’s not a new or novel idea, you cannot proceed further in the process. You can check out the USPTO’s database here.
- Determine a strategy for your filing. Consider what kind of application you need to file, which patenting body you need to file with, etc. In addition, be prepared to pay fees at a minimum of $1,500 just to get your application filed.
- Prepare your documents and file your application with the USPTO. With your lawyer, determine if you have a regular patent application (RPA) or a provisional patent application (PPA). A PPA allows you to claim that your patent is pending, but it doesn’t start the patent application process. Within a year of filing PPA status, you are required to file for RPA status. RPAs actually start the patent application process.
The steps listed above barely scratch the surface of what one needs to do in order to file a patent and get it through successfully. It is wise to hire an experienced intellectual property attorney to ensure that there are no obstacles on your path to patenting your invention. Contact or call the team at the Trembly Law Firm today, and let’s work on getting your patent in soon!