If you have a good idea that can be applied within a manufacturing industry or a business, the first thing to do is to patent it. This will protect you by ensuring that no one steals it. Unfortunately, if you do not patent the idea and discuss it with the company, then if you find out that someone has used it, you will not have any recourse whatsoever.
Patenting an idea involves patenting information that you have come up with. In case, you have disclosed the idea to someone without their obligation, to keep the secret, you have 1 year to do all the necessary requirements before it becomes yours. But how can your patent an idea?
Understand what information and ideas can be patented; you can own the idea if it is a process, or an improvement. A natural phenomenon, abstract ideas, and inventions that are deemed to be useful can be patented. To confirm whether your idea can be patented, review the list of what can be and what cannot be patented. More so, your invention should be useful and its practical use should be clear. Examples of inventions include computer software, designs, abstract theory, and laws of nature. By doing this, you will know how to patent an idea.
Determine whether the idea is new; the basic qualification for owning any type of information is to determine whether it is original. Remember, the idea must pass 3 tests. In case of new ideas, ask yourself whether you knew it before. If so, it means that the idea is not original.
You should also determine if some people knew it before. Finally, it is important to know whether the information can be used practically by thinking about the final user. These may include consumers, researchers, and manufacturers.
Determine whether you qualify to get a patent; If at all you are the true inventor of the information you can file for the idea to be patented. While applying, remember the rule also allows other inventors to apply for the same. If you invented it with their help, apply for this together. However, the one who only contributed some money cannot be included as the original owner of the patent. For you to get a patent, use USPTO website. Ensure that you review this site before doing anything.
Conduct a search; this will help you confirm whether the idea had been patented before or not. Carry out a search of the previous public disclosures that are also called prior arts. ViewW the USPTO’s patent search tutorial to guide you step by step on how you can do this well. Also, visit an invention and trademark center for any specialized assistance that you might need. If this process is not working well, you need not to rush.
Get legal assistance; it can be extremely difficult to own an idea. This is why you will benefit a lot by seeking legal help. While doing this, look for a qualified attorney. When you talk to a patent attorney he can suggest a few things that can help you patent the idea. Due to their expertise and good background, invention attorneys can be very expensive. However, you may get find a cheaper attorney in a large metropolitan area.
Research on the legal options for low-income applicants; USPTO has a program that assists people who cannot afford patent attorney’s legal fee. You do not have to meet them face to face as they can advise you even through the phone. Besides, visit a law school where the students under the guidance of faculty professors can help you navigate through the process. Submitting for a patent could last for 17 to 20 years. This means having a great idea and knowing how to own it does not mean that it will be automatically approved.
When you know how to patent an idea, you should know that this process can cost you a lot of money. While doing this, you are also required to pay all the legal fees. But if you succeed, the returns will be substantial. Above all, patenting is an important process that allows you to successfully license your idea and sell it.