You may have chanced upon an invention that no one has ever thought of before. The first thing you should do is file a patent so no one can steal your idea.
Patents usually take a long time, but there are ways on how you can shorten the process. Here’s a brief guide on how to get started.
Choose a Patent Attorney First
Having a lawyer by your side can simplify some of the most mundane and convoluted tasks in filing a patent. However, not all attorneys specialize in patents and not all patent attorneys are good at what they do.
You can ask friends or family for referrals or choose one on the internet based on customer reviews. Interview them first before picking the one you think is right for you.
Determine What Type of Patent You Need
You probably wouldn’t know that there are several types of patents you can file, but knowing which one can mean the difference between smooth sailing and choppy waters.
Some of the most common patent types are Plant, Design and Utility, with each one having its own set of guidelines. Make sure you read and understand them, and that you can categorize your invention under the correct type.
File a Provisional Patent Application
A provisional application isn’t strictly part of filing a patent. It just means that you’re getting proof that you filed for a patent first in case someone or a company takes interest in your invention.
That extra layer of protection can shield you from unwanted litigation and makes it clear that you are the sole owner of the invention. The golden rule of thumb in patents is to move quickly so you can finish first.
Legally speaking, the first person to file the idea is deemed as the owner. You won’t be able to sway the court later on just because you hesitated or waited a few weeks or months.
Check All Costs and Plan How to Pay Them
Filing a patent comes with fees and costs. First, there’s the basic fee and search fee, issue and examination fee. There may also be an excess claims fee depending on the type of application.
Aside from the examination, search and filing fees you may be charged an additional $200 non-electronic filing fee. This goes for patents that are mailed or hand delivered. If you wish to waive this and pay the requirements only you can register for a Digital Certificate and Customer Number online and file it over the web.
The costs can put a dent in your income, and can delay you until you get the money from your paycheck. However, you stand to lose the patent if someone else submits it earlier than you.
To resolve this concern you can take an online loan from Little Loans. This puts your patent application out at a sooner time and gives you a higher chance to be accepted. Online loans are much more agile and convenient than bank loans since they have a faster approval time and the money will be sent straight to your bank account.
Gather Information for Your Formal Application
Patent filing will require specification, which is made up of a summary, a description, abstract and conclusion. Don’t forget to enter scope and ramifications as well.
At this point you will also have to define your patent’s legal scope, something that a good lawyer can help you with. They can point out any loophole you may have and correct it, thereby saving you time.
Complete and Review Your Formal Application
On average, patent processing can take anywhere between 1 to 3 years. A simple error in your formal application can set it back significantly, so it’s best to keep your composure and review the details every chance you get.
Participate in the Patent Process
The work isn’t over when you submit your patent application. You will need to participate to make sure it moves along to completion.
A patent examiner will be assigned to your patent case and they will reach out to you for questions or clarifications. Prioritize the line of communication and address any questions as soon as you can.
Additionally, you can try to take a proactive approach and arrange an interview via a sit-down or a video conference.