It can be challenging for first-time inventors to protect their inventions. They need to be familiar with the associated patent concepts and processes. An inventor needs to be familiar with the means to be at par, especially if they can’t hire a patent attorney. It is undeniably essential that one understands the basics of the patent. Here are things that one must know as they get in the patent process.
Conducting a Patent Search
The patent procedure can be costly, especially on preparing and filing an application. Doing a search in advance will prevent extreme costs. The application process is likely to be smoother if there are no obstacles found in the search. The first application is considered critical, and patent searches promote strong and better patent applications. All the details about the invention provided in the application. The search helps in defining the invention and focusing on the patentable components and features.
Some individuals assume their invention is new and hence doesn’t need a patent search. This can pose a risk to the invention since some patents have not been commercially developed. There are always existing patents that are somehow similar.
Provisional and Non-Provisional Patents
This is the first step towards getting a patent. The provisional patent application has its benefits and demerits as well. It is beneficial when one intends to protect an invention and then continue working on it. Because to obtain a patent, one will ultimately file a non-provisional patent application. The provisional patent is filed when one has a tangible description of their invention. When the improvements are complete, one can file another provisional patent or finalize it with a non-provisional patent application.
It is easy to obtain a design patent or a utility patent. The design patent covers the invention looks, and the utility patent is for how an invention works. Utility patents are considered the strongest. To obtain a utility patent, one signs the non-provisional application, which is later taken to the examiner. The patent examiner reviews the application and decides if one is entitled to the patent.
Only Inventions are Patentable
It is essential to understand that it is impossible to protect an idea. One has to build the concept of an invention for it to be patented. The idea is a crucial first step in the invention. Many inventors do not know this. If one doesn’t have a prototype for the invention, they can write a clear description with specificity on what they intend to do with the idea. If the concept can be described and is considered unique, it can be patented.