Step 1- The Concept
Before any idea can become an invention there are some requirements that it
must meet. Is it something that other’s would use? Would any companies buy
the invention? Is there one similar to it on the market already and if there is, what makes this new design different?
Step 2- Documentation
From this point forward everything pertaining to the invention should be
documented in a book including any drawings and a full description of the product. In order to put an invention into production the inventor must look for potential customers that would buy the product and this documentation can be used against any company that attempts to steal the idea.
Step 2- Patent Research
Because each invention must be original before even filing for a patent, an
extensive search should be done to make sure that the invention does not
exist anywhere. Two of the best places to research are the USPTO Patent
Database and the Patent and Trademark Depository Library, both which can be
accessed through the Internet.
Step 4- What Kind Of A Patent To Get
There are four different patents that an invention can be classified under:
design, utility, plant (only for agricultural purpose) and international
patents. Most patents are filed under the utility classification. For a smaller fee a provisional patent application (PPA) will put a “patent
pending ” status on the invention for twelve months but if a full patent
application is not processed within that time the “patent pending” will be
void. A non-provisional patent application (NPA) can be filed, and depending on the classification, this patent typically lasts for twenty years.
Step 5- Finalizing The Idea
It does not have to be fully functional at this point but now is the time to put together an early model of the invention. Any blue prints, drawings
and diagrams should be completed as well. In order to file either a prototype or detailed diagrams must be included.
Step 6- Filing For A Patent
When filing for an NPA, along with the application and fees, a prototype of the invention and a detailed summary of the invention must be included. When filing for a PPA, along with the application and fees, a detailed description and any drawings of the invention must be included. The day of filing is considered the “priority date” stopping anyone else from trying to patent this invention.
Step 7- Publication Of The Application
This step typically happens approximately 18 months after filing the
application with the USPTO, although for a fee this step can be expedited.
The USTPO publicly announces that a patent is being requested for the
invention and states that any claims against the patent should be directed to their office immediately.
Step 8- The Patent Examiner
In this stage of the process the Patent Office will assign a patent examiner to investigate the new invention. The patent examiner will conduct an in-depth search for patent infringements and evaluate whether or not it is patentable. A report will then be written up explaining the findings and any adjustments that need to be made.
Step 9- Responding To The Patent Examiners Requests
This is better known as the “office action” portion of the patent process.
Once the patent examiner has evaluated the invention an examination report
will be made with any modifications that are needed to make the invention
Step 10- Receiving The Patent
Once the modifications requested by the patent examiner have been complied, a patent number will be granted on the new invention. There is an issuance fee that needs to be paid at this stage as well as any periodic maintenance fees that are mandated by the USPTO.