In your mind’s eye, a patent office might conjure up a scene ripped from your pages of Harry Potter’s wizarding world, with long cramped hallways stacked with papers (pending patents) and frantic business folks running around looking to beat the time. Little, tiny old clerks nearly covered by yet more leaning towers of papers (more pending patents) since they yell, “Next, please!” to the never ending line.
This would be a daunting image to many people – especially anybody who is trying to patent an understanding, concept or patent my idea sometime this century. But, like Harry Potter himself, this scene is not true-to-life – and even though it is certainly true that rushing into filing a patent is rarely advisable, the process is not as harrowing as you might believe having never set foot around the patent path. With some patience as well as the right course of action, you are able to successfully and confidently file a patent and secure for your personal invention or idea the safekeeping it deserves.
As defined on dictionary.com, the first three workable of any patent are applicable for our purposes, while they describe the various ways the term “patent” can be used within the invention industry. A patent is: 1) the exclusive right granted with a government with an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for any certain number of years; 2) how to patent or process protected with this right; 3) an official document conferring such a right; letters patent.
It’s been a lengthy process to perfect the patent over centuries around various aspects of our world, but here are some highlights. The thought of a patent is first seen historically in 500 BC where the ancient Greek Sybians (now Italy) awarded and commended those who created “refinements in luxury.” Nearer to our modern day history, England declared in 1623 that patents could possibly be designed for “projects of the latest inventions” and would later require a description in the invention, just like our current day’s application. The first patent in the usa was granted in 1790; then this following year in 1791, the French government devised a method that could grant patents without examination. And society has continued perfecting this process since then…
Protecting our rights as Americans has served as a founding principle of the country since its inception, thus it should come as no real surprise there are laws plus a system into position to safeguard our intellectual property, too. The “Copyright Clause” in the usa Constitution, Section 8, Clause 8, authorizes Congressional capacity to grant both patents and copyrights. In twenty-first century America, all patents are filed with and granted by america Patent and Trademark Office, a federal agency specifically designated for distributing patents, trademarks and copyrights and monitoring the whole, ongoing process.
In accordance 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 get a patent’.” Here’s a hint: USEFUL is actually a key word within the above statement.
Protecting a potentially valuable idea or invention having a patent could be the best move you ever make for an inventor – or it could turn out to be a massive total waste of time and funds if you don’t perform this crucial initial step in the process: FIRST determine whether the cost of filing a patent and protecting a perception will be worth the charge it is going to create. In other words, is your idea truly unique and valuable – could it be worth a whole lot in the future? Or, includes a similar invention already been created, which could render your invention obsolete or unimportant? Or perhaps is your concept, well, not good enough to warrant filing and investing in a patent? Consider these tough questions now, you’ll be thankful later.
Even before you consider filing a patent, do your favor and commit to conducting a bit of research to find out when your invention is already around, or if it will even be feasible or marketable. Utilize search engines like yahoo, and kind in possible keywords linked to patenting an 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 it sounds overwhelming 19dexhpky you, it could be should you tried to search through each patent ever granted since the 1700’s all by yourself. Luckily for you, the USPTO has created a Seven Step Strategy for conducting your own personal patent search, if you’ve got the some perserverance to the process and also the confidence with your idea. While you’re online, try other free patent search resources like freepatentsonline.com, and even engage a Professional Patent Searcher to perform the searching for you in the event the funds are offered.
Filing a patent will take some determination, some perserverance – but it doesn’t have to be scary or foreboding! Great things take some time, right?! Below, we’ve broken down the core steps you must take to find the patent ball rolling – and to provide some power over your inventive destiny!