I want to patent my idea, but…

What do I do now?

Request a free “How To” Guide on how to patent an idea. It includes information on the patent process,filing a patent application and approaching the USPTO. . Please feel free to call us if the pack does not answer all your patenting questions.

What is in the Free “How To” Guide?

It contains:

  • a Booklet ‘Inventing for Profit’ – Vital Information covering: How to patent an idea, taking idea to market, design and prototype info;
  • press articles about Innovate Design;
  • confidentiality assurance

How do I know you aren’t going to steal my idea?

By the provision of the Innovate Confidentiality Assurance. This is our written assurance to you that we will not disclose or act upon your idea without your say-so. All Innovate staff are contracted and trained to adhere to highest standards of confidentiality. After our free initial review, we will advise if we can help, and you may choose to disclose and discuss your idea fully, and enter into a contractual relationship under full safeguards.

Can’t I just put my idea in front of industry now?

The idea needs to look credible and well presented to stand a chance in gaining the confidence of the industry. It also ideally needs to be protected. You only get one chance and the presentation should not be underestimated. Companies are more likely to support an idea if they can see it has been thought through and properly developed. Protection can also improve a product’s chance at market.

How does Innovate make money?

We will review your idea and how to proceed, which may involve research work or Product Design which are chargeable services. We will provide you with a quote that you can use to compare with other service providers. You are under no obligation to take up the service offered.

How much is all this going to cost?

The cost varies from project to project. Once you have received an information pack, send your idea to us and we will complete the free initial review to ascertain what potential costs may be associated with your project in moving it forward.

Can I get help financing the project?

Possibly. Firstly you would need to know what costs there may be in developing the project so you can calculate the funding level required. It will also depend at which stage you require funding and what opportunities are available to your project. A Client Manager can advise you on this. Innovate do not fund any projects themselves.

I have conducted a Google search and I am sure my idea doesn’t exist; do I still need to do a Patent Search?

Yes. You can never be certain your idea does not exist based on market searches. Patent searches include all applications ever filed, whether granted or not, as these all affect your application. This means that not all patent applications are marketed products.

I have conducted a Patent Search on the internet, do I still need to do a Worldwide Patent Search?

It is unlikely that you will be able to conduct a conclusive search and correctly interpret the results without prior experience of the patenting system. Many online databases are incomplete or inaccessible to foreign applications. Using a professional researcher can pay dividends in the long run. For more info about the importance of global patent searches click here: Global Patent Search

Can I patent a business idea?

No. You cannot patent a business idea unless it involves a new product idea. You also cannot patent a scientific or mathematical discovery, theory or method; a way of playing a game; a book, drama, piece of music or artistic work.

Can I patent a website idea?

No. The patent system exists to protect inventions or products and not websites.

I saw a product abroad but it is not in the US, can I patent it here?

No. The idea is in the public domain and cannot be patented here.

What does “Patent Pending” mean?

Patent Pending” means that an application for a patent has been filed at the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) or any other patent office that is a signatory to treaties and agreements that allow a filing date in one country to be relied on for 12 months in another country. It is the same as “Patent Applied For.” There are laws preventing people using these phrases if it is not true. These phrases do not mean that the patent has been granted nor does it mean that it will be granted.

Can I get a Worldwide Patent?

No. The most far reaching international patent application is the PCT which covers 142 countries.