While filing a patent, it’s beneficial to have everything filled out correctly the first time. In fact, statistics show that the United States Patent Offices receives six times the amount of applications as it once did in 1980. Considering that, making mistakes during patent process means having to place yourself back into the line. It’s important you’re aware of the main steps that go into having a patent of your own. With that in mind, here is a brief overview of the domestic patent process.
Determining the Kind of Patent You Need
One of the most important steps to take is determining what type of patent you’re intended to create. For instance, the USPTO defines three types of those patents: plant, design, and utility patents.
Plant patents are needed in the event that you’ve been able to either find or create a completely new variety of plant under specified conditions. Design patents are incredibly common and ensure that respective designs remain protected from the use of others. Lastly, utility patents are another commonly filed patent. These types of patents cover the creation of something or a distinct improvement you’ve made to something that already exists.
Preparing an Application for a Patent
This phase is where many people enlist the help of a patent lawyer. For many, the knowledge of patent law needed to fill out these forms is simply too confusing. Having an attorney on your side is incredibly helpful throughout the domestic patent process.
In addition to needing knowledge of patent law, these applications can get extremely technical. Considering that, it’s wise to have a patent attorney assist you in prepare the more technical aspects of an application.
Avoiding Someone Stealing Your Idea
Statistics gathered from 2016 found that the USPTO issued over 300,000 patents. Considering that large number, it’s best to not go to the back of the line after filling out patent forms incorrectly.
During this time, someone might have coincidentally been thinking about the same invention you’ve created. The domestic patent process works on a first come first serve basis. If two separate patents for the same idea are sent in, the first correct application takes ownership of the idea. With that in mind, a patent lawyer can help you avoid the possibility of having your idea taken by someone filing faster than you.
In conclusion, there are several important steps in the patent process in which it helps to have a lawyer on your side. Patent applications can quickly become far too technical for the applicant to complete on their own. It’s wise to contact a patent attorney in order to seek evaluation from someone with knowledge of patent law.
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