How to Patent an Idea

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The Ultimate Guide on How To Patent an Idea

So you’ve come up with a great invention idea that you are ready to patent?Now you’re probably desperate to solicit advice on how to bring this new concept to reality, but you’re wary of lacking protection over the idea and thereby potentially getting it stolen in the process.Innovate Product Design is here to walk you through the process of good commercial steps to patent and/or progress an idea, from searching for existing patents and designs, to the different types of protection available, to the associated costs and steps necessary for any route ultimately chosen. Innovate offers low cost design-led intellectual property and design solutions to patent an idea that suits individuals’ needs to kickstart their project.Before you go further, some of the questions that you may ask yourself before patenting or progressing an idea:

  • Have you kept your idea sufficiently secret?
  • Is your idea new and original in the market?
  • Is your product sufficiently developed, designed or prototyped?
  • Is it commercially viable?

Request Free Info Pack:

  • The “Inventing for Profit” Guide
  • Patent Advice/How to Patent an Idea
  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Idea Submission Forms
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Forms of protection.

Is your idea best protected via a utility patent, a design patent, a trademark (registered or unregistered), or a copyright? Find out how to decide which option is best for your idea by visiting our Vital Info page.


Is my idea novel?

How do you successfully use the patent system to progress your idea? A 1st step is a comprehensive search for similar patent documents to (1) see how globally unique the parts of your idea could be, (2) get new ideas and improvements from the best free technical resource on the planet, and (3) inform you whether and how you may up getting patent protection. Learn more here  Patent Search.

Dollar sign symbolic of cost of patent

Costs to Patent an Idea

Learn about how much it costs, varying types of patent applications, and what the examination and grant timelines are like. Patent Advice available here.


Patent Application Process To the USPTO (The United States Patent & Trademark Office)

A patent is a legal document that can last for 20 years, so specific wording is exceptionally important. Get tips on how to apply to the US Patent & Trademark Office) and what to include on our Patent Application process page.


Trademark an Idea

In some circumstances trademarks can protect a word, symbol, or logo used in trade and associated with your product.


Design Patent

In some circumstances a design patent can be more appropriate and can combine with or be more relevant (and can provide faster protection) than trying to get utility patent protection over an idea.


Can you Patent an Idea?

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In short, no. However...

Whilst one will have difficulty efectively patenting just an idea, producing a prototype or submitting a considered patent application containing a proper abstract, drawings, decsription etc., will be much more likely to lead to patent grant. The patent process must be viewed as a process. This process will always involve a number of different stages, each of which will aid building a stronger idea and protection. Learn how Innovate helps inventors develop, progress and protect early stage ideas.

How do I Begin Patenting my Idea?

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Start by Requesting a Free Info Pack

Request a free patent info pack on how to patent an idea. It includes information on the patent process,filing a patent application and approaching the US Patent & Trademaek Office (USPTO).


  • 2013 U.S. Patent Stats from the USPTO

    Did you know that over 300,000 patents were granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2013 alone? This inforgraphic shows that of those patent applicants who had patents granted, over 50% of them are based in countries other than the United States.
  • Series 2: Self Manufacturing – Pros vs Cons

    The definition of manufacturing is to make or process goods, especially in large quantities and by means of industrial machines; also the making or producing of something. Self-Manufacturing your patented idea means starting your own business and doing everything yourself
  • Series 1: Licensing – Pros vs Cons

    There are two routes of taking your idea to market licensing and self-manufacturing. Which one is better for you and your product? In this article we are going to learn about licensing and in a follow up article we will learn about self-manufacturing.