Patent & Protect > Patent Application
How to patent a product: the application
Wondering how to patent a product? Patent applications may stand no chance of ever being granted yet they can still be very useful for your product commercially. For instance, many larger companies you pitch to may refuse to sign Confidentiality Agreements with you. They may not want to agree to never to compete in that field, and/or they may not have the necessary legal resources.’Patent pending’ status is a tried and tested way of demonstrating the intent to vigorously protect the intellectual property of your product. There are ways to achieve this through the patent application process at a reasonable cost.Here’s how to quickly gain patent protection for a product, via a standard-issue utility patent application using a US patent attorney or agent:
What is included in the patent application process?
Non-Provisional ApplicationsA full patent application for your product should be made up of several parts:
- Abstract: This is a short synopsis of the product for which you are applying for a patent, usually for the purposes of searching. This is the first step of the application for those seeking how to patent a product.
- Description: This is the overall description of the product, including components and applications. It is the bulk of the application and includes background material, references to other patent applications and explanations of the drawings.
- Claims: This is the most important part of the application and is what you are claiming as novel about your product. These have to be very precise whilst still allowing for future modifications or improvements. Claim 1 is the first listed claim and should only include the main features of your invention. It is the Claims that are used to assess applications against each other and decide on patentability.
- Drawings: These are simple, 2D, black and white line drawings of your invention and a representation of an embodiment of the invention. A patent application is required to contain drawings, if drawings are necessary to understand the subject matter to be patented.
It is possible to file a non-provisional application at the USPTO from the outset, but it will be considerably more expensive than a provisional; and it may be unwise to spend so much so early in development of your idea.
Provisional ApplicationsA provisional application for a (utility) patent provides ‘patent pending’ protection, and gives a right to file a full/non-provisional patent application within 12 months.If a full/non-provisional application is not filed within 12 months the provisional application will be abandoned and disclosed inventions may never be capable of patent protection.Provisional applications are not examined…
- But it should not be assumed that because there are no formal requirements that you can just file anything.
- Any ‘matter’ not covered in the provisional application may not be able to rely on the provisional filing date.
- To be safe therefore a provisional application is best broad and inventive, and considering the invention as thoroughly as a full application; and
- It is very helpful to include clear drawings showing every feature of the invention to help with this.
Filing a provisional application for a patent gives ‘patent pending’ status.The 12-month ‘pendency’ for a provisional application is not counted toward the 20-year term of a US patent granted on the basis of the provisional application filing date. However the provisional filing will count towards the foreign patent term / filing window under the Paris Convention if priority is claimed from the provisional filing date.