How to apply to the U.S. Patent Office

What you need for United States Patent and Trademark officeSo you have a great idea and you think that the idea is worth some money. Great time has been spent in thinking about how the idea or product would be successful in the market, but you want to ensure that you are protected when you go to talk to markets and potential investments. To do this you need a patent or a trademark on your product or idea. But where do you begin?What is the United States Patent and Trademark office?The USPTO (or United States Patent and Trade office) regulates who gets a U.S patent and who does not. They are also responsible for registering trademarks.  It is a government agency (Federal) focused on promoting the Progress of Science and useful Arts. The USPTO also advises several of the top government figures and agencies on intellectual property policy, protection, and enforcement. In the most simplistic of terms, the USPTO looks at your idea, makes sure it is original, and then files your patent so that no one can steal your idea or trademark.Before Applying for a patent to the patent office, here are some questions you might ask yourself:

  • Have you kept your idea secret? This is paramount in filing a patent. An idea which is going to make a company a great deal of money should NOT be shared prior to getting a patent. You do not want a competitor or big corporation to file a patent before you have a chance to.
  • Is my idea novel? Patents and trademarks have to be NEW ideas. Granted, you can have a new spin on an old product, but for the most part a completely new idea is needed. Secondly, you will want your idea to be useful. Remember, the point of the United States Patent and Trademark office is to promote the advance of science and useful Art.
  • Is your product sufficiently developed, designed or prototyped? The patent process requires that you have a fully developed idea. You cannot simply state that you have an idea (say for example you want to develop a ceramic automotive tire) and get that idea patented. You have to have Patent Drawings showing the design. Your product needs to be carefully thought out. In your patent you will have to describe your product’s make and functionality in detail. The more developed your product, the more likely your application will be approved.
  • Does your product have the potential to be patentable or commercially viable? Your potential patent will be more apt to be approved if it has a function that can help more people than just yourself. If the product is marketable then the idea is useful. Useful ideas get approved, those which have no function or marketability tend to have problems in getting a patent or trademark.

 What is the US patents application Procedure?The procedure for filing a U.S. patent can be a daunting task, especially if you are not well versed in legal jargon or in explaining clearly your idea or device. When filing a U.S. Patent you will need to :

  1. Have a clearly defined idea or product with patent drawings and/or a prototype.
  1. Ensure that your product does not already have a patent. If your product is already patented then you need not try to get a patent on your idea. The only way to get a patent on an already patented item is to present a new use/functionality for the item. For example: If you know that tires are patented, but that tire planters are not then you can put in a patent for a tire planter even though the physical tire is patented because you have thought of a new function for the common tire
  1. Determine the type of patent you need to file. There are three types that you can file. These are Design, Plant, and Utility Patent. You will need to read carefully the description and parameters of each category to determine which to file.
  1. Choose whether you need a Provisional or Nonprovisional Application and chose the best method for filing. Keep in mind that there are several ways in which to file and that each one has its own set of fees and stipulations associated with it. If you file your application in the wrong manner your application will be denied and you will have to start the process again.

 For a full list of the USPTO filing guidelines visit http://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/patent-basics/types-patent-applications/utility-patent/patent-process-0Are you still a bit confused about the process?Don’t worry. Many people need help to get through the Patent and Trademark filing process. That is why we are here to help.For more information please visit our website: https://www.innovate-design.com/patent-application/If you have a unique idea and would like to get help on filing for a with the United States Patent and Trade office please contact us at www.innovative-design.com or directly at 1-877-424-6073.