With your mind’s eye, a patent office might conjure up a scene ripped from the pages of Harry Potter’s wizarding world, with long cramped hallways stacked with papers (pending patents) and frantic business folks running around attempting to beat the clock. Little, tiny old clerks nearly covered by yet more leaning towers of papers (more pending patents) while they yell, “Next, please!” for the never ending line.
This is a challenging image to many people – especially anybody who is looking to patent an understanding, concept or how to patent an idea sometime this century. But, like Harry Potter himself, this scene will not be true-to-life – and though it may be certainly true that rushing into filing a patent is NEVER a wise idea, the process is not as harrowing as you might believe who has never set foot on the patent path. With a small amount of patience and also the right approach, you may successfully and confidently file a patent and secure for the invention or idea the safekeeping it deserves.
As defined on dictionary.com, the initial three workable of a patent are applicable for your purposes, as they describe the different ways the phrase “patent” is commonly used from the invention industry. A patent is: 1) the exclusive right granted by a government for an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain years; 2) how to patent an idea or process protected from this right; 3) an official document conferring this kind of right; letters patent.
It’s been a long process to perfect the patent over centuries around various elements of our society, but below are a few highlights. The notion of a patent is first seen historically in 500 BC where the ancient Greek Sybians (now Italy) awarded and commended those that created “refinements in luxury.” Even closer to our modern day history, England declared in 1623 that patents could possibly be developed for “projects of brand new inventions” and would later demand a description in the invention, much like our current day’s application. The 1st patent in America was granted in 1790; then your following year in 1791, the French government devised a system that could grant patents without examination. And society has continued perfecting the process since then…
Protecting our rights as Americans has served as being a founding principle of our own country since its inception, therefore it should come as no great surprise there are laws and a system set up to protect our intellectual property, as well. The “Copyright Clause” in america Constitution, Section 8, Clause 8, authorizes Congressional ability to grant both patents and copyrights. In twenty-first century America, all patents are filed with and granted by the usa Patent and Trademark Office, a federal agency specifically designated for distributing patents, trademarks and copyrights and monitoring the entire, ongoing process.
In line with the USPTO, “any individual who ‘invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may have a patent’.” Here’s a hint: USEFUL can be a key word within the above statement.
Protecting a potentially valuable idea or invention using a patent could possibly be the best move you make as an inventor – or it may show to be an enormous waste of time and money should you don’t conduct this crucial initial step during this process: FIRST determine whether the expense of filing for a patent and protecting a concept is definitely worth the cost it would create. In other words, is the idea truly unique and valuable – could it be worth a good deal down the road? Or, features a similar invention previously been created, which will render your invention obsolete or unimportant? Or perhaps is your concept, well, not good enough to warrant filing and paying for a patent? Contemplate these tough questions now, you’ll be thankful later.
Even before you consider filing a patent, do your favor and decide on conducting a little bit of research to ascertain when your invention is around the world, or if perhaps it can even be feasible or marketable. Utilize search engines, and kind in possible keywords connected with invention idea to see what turns up. And do spend some time sifting with the USPTO’s online database to uncover existing patents just like your invention. If this sounds overwhelming 19dexhpky you, it will be should you tried to search through each and every patent ever granted since the 1700’s by yourself. Luckily for yourself, the USPTO has created a Seven Step Strategy for conducting your own personal patent search, if you’ve got the time and patience for your process and also the confidence with your idea. While you’re online, try other free patent search resources like freepatentsonline.com, or perhaps work with a Professional Patent Searcher to perform the looking for you when the funds are offered.
Filing a patent can take some determination, some perserverance – but it really doesn’t need to be scary or foreboding! Great things take time, right?! Below, we’ve divided the core steps you should take to have the patent ball rolling – and to offer you some control of your inventive destiny!