A Step-by-Step Guide to the Patent Process

Do you have the next great idea for a product, app, or other item that you hope will make you millions? Before you are able to really move forward with this type of thing, you need to protect your idea so it isn’t stolen the second someone hears about it. In order to get legal protection of your idea, you will need to obtain a patent from the US Patent Office. With millions of ideas patented, and new ones being submitted every day, this isn’t as easy a process as many people would hope. When seeking a patent, you will need to take each of the following steps.

Document Your Idea (With Details)

You can’t simply walk into a patent office and tell them about your idea. Instead, you will need to have written documentation of the idea itself and what sets it apart from any similar ideas (if applicable). The documentation needs to include as much information as possible including design blueprints, code concepts, examples of prototypes, and much more. The specific details that will need to be included will vary greatly depending on what the idea is, but the more you can provide, the better the chances of being approved.

Conduct a Patent Search

While you may not know of anyone who has had your idea before, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You may be surprised to know that many ideas are patented, even if the patented idea never resulted in popular products in the marketplace. To confirm that your idea is unique, and therefore patentable, you need to perform a patent search. There are a variety of online tools that can provide you basic results, but to be certain that your idea is unique you need to have a professional perform an in-depth search. If your idea, or one quite similar to it, has already been patented, you won’t be approved unless your idea is significantly different in some important way.

Apply for the Patent

Once you are certain that your idea has never been patented before, you can submit all the necessary documentation along with the application to the US Patent office. Once your application has been properly submitted and accepted, you will be able to start marketing your product as “patent pending,” which will discourage anyone from attempting to steal the idea. The patent office can take months, or even longer, to review an application, so make sure you are ready for this extended review period. The examiner may also need to get in touch with you with questions or additional documentation, so always be available should this be necessary.

Hire a Patent Attorney

For the vast majority of people who want to patent a product or idea, this will actually be step number one. While it is technically possible to successfully obtain a patent on your own, it will undoubtedly take far longer and expose you to far more risk in the process. Lexero Law has helped many clients through this complex task and will provide you with the best possible way of getting your patent approved as quickly as possible. Contact us to discuss your idea and see how we can help you attain a patent.

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