You’ve had the idea for that fabulous invention simmering in your mind for years. Now, after all this time, you have perfected it. You are ready to market your new invention. Here are five questions to get you started on what you need to know about the patent process and patent law.
Question # 1. Who Can Get One?
The inventor, creator, or discoverer can apply for a patent. Patents are estimated to cost between $8,000 and $15,000 (or even more) when all legal fees and costs are added up.
Question # 2. What Is It?
It is a registered license that prohibits anyone other than the owner of the patent, or patent holder, from creating what the patent holder has already patented. It is designed to protect the patent holder as inventor, creator, of discoverer of original material. At the same time, it also is designed to prevent anyone other than the holder from benefiting from the invention, creation, or discovery.
Question # 3. When Can You Get One?
This is a question for your lawyer. Generally, and briefly, an application must be filed within one year of the first time the object was used or sold. But you need to check with your attorney.
Question # 4. Where Do You Get One?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the office you would access for information on where to find an application. Information is available online concerning this process. Each year, over 500,000 applications are received by this office.
Question # 5. Why Do You Need One?
In very basic terms, it is a form of protection. If you have worked hard and come up with something new and original, you would want the profits from it (if there are any) to go to you, and a patent provides this form of protection.
Question # 6. How Do You Get One?
First, you need to find out if your situation qualifies for a patent. If so, then you fill out an application. And you find a very good and experienced attorney who is proficient in trademark law. There are three types of patents. They are utility, design, and plant patents. Briefly, the utility one refers to something new that has been created, for example, a machine. The design one refers to a new, ornamental creation and protects its appearance. Thirdly, the plant one relates to the discovery of a new variety of plant. Again, consult with your attorney.
History is filled with wonderful discoveries and great inventions that changed the world. Maybe your idea will be among those, too, one day. But until then, be on the safe side: be sure and protect yourself and your invention. Follow the steps to get a patent and retain the services of a good, experienced patent lawyer.