If you have a new invention and want to protect it, the first step is filing for patent protection. This can be an intricate process, so seek professional assistance if needed.
Typically, inventors should file for a provisional patent first to give themselves time to refine their ideas. After one year has elapsed since filing, filers can convert their provisional patent into full utility patent rights.
Provisional patents are a way to introduce an idea into the public and protect it for one year before filing for real patent protection. However, it’s essential to know that this type of filing will not grant inventors any rights or benefits and can be an expensive and time-consuming process.
Inventors must begin by conducting a patent search to make sure their invention qualifies for protection. This involves using scholarly research and Google to uncover any existing patents and other applications in your field, then checking these documents for conflicts with your invention.
The ideal searches should be performed by a reliable firm and will identify any pending patents that might be too close to your invention or make it unpatentable. These patents, known as “prior art”, could make your invention obvious to a patent examiner, thus invalidating its eligibility for protection.
After conducting your search, it’s wise to draft your application with detailed drawings and specifications. Doing this makes your patent more thorough and less likely to be rejected by a patent examiner due to lack of detail.
Once you’ve created your application, it’s time to file with the USPTO. Many services exist that can assist with this step of the process, such as LegalZoom.
They provide a two-part patent service, including consultation with a USPTO-registered attorney, technical illustrations, and patent search. The attorney will draft up to two drafts of your application before filing it electronically directly with the USPTO.
Finally, you must sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect your idea from copyright infringement and other legal claims by others. This should be done with an experienced lawyer present.
Though this process may seem intimidating, it’s much simpler than you might think. With the right guidance and assistance, you’ll be well on your way to taking your idea from a concept to a patent in no time!
Provisional patent applications are created to give inventors time to explore their ideas and assess the marketability of their invention before filing for a full-blown patent. While this is an invaluable way to test out your concept, remember that provisional patent applications cannot grant you any rights if they lack certain materials or specifications.
That is why it is essential to follow up on a non-provisional patent application and ensure all necessary information is included in the paperwork. That means crafting your application in such a way as to include all pertinent data necessary for explaining your concept to the USPTO, as well as attaching any supporting documents necessary with your filing.
Technical drawings are essential to getting your provisional patent application accepted by the patent office, so make sure you submit a thorough set. Include as many views of your invention or prototype as possible, but make sure the drawings are as detailed as possible.
You can create these drawings yourself, or hire a professional patent illustrator to do them for you. However, keep in mind that most drafting experts charge around $75-150 per page for these types of drawings.
That is why it’s essential to collaborate with a drafting expert who comprehends your requirements for drawings and can guarantee you the highest-quality product. They have access to experienced designers and draftsmen who specialize in various software packages, enabling them to rapidly transform your sketches into professional-level products.
When selecting a drawing professional, one factor to consider is whether your invention requires specific technical drawings to explain it. For instance, if it involves optimizing video streaming, then creating several technical diagrams to demonstrate the process would likely be necessary.
Particularly if you’re applying for a utility patent, which requires more detailed explanation than design patents do. To ensure the best success with your claim, ensure you have an experienced drafting pro on board.
Patent Attorney Consultation
If you want to safeguard your invention, a patent attorney can offer legal guidance. They will explain how to secure your idea with a patent as well as investigate other forms of IP protection such as copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.
Consultations with a patent attorney can be conducted over the phone or in person. During their inquiry, they will ask questions about your idea and how it is to be marketed. Furthermore, they perform a patent search to see if other similar concepts have already been protected.
Prior to applying for a patent, your attorney must know the specifics of your invention. They may request photos, sketches, diagrams and notes that demonstrate your creation.
Additionally, bring any contracts or agreements signed (such as confidentiality agreements, website invention submissions, marketing agreements). These documents will give the lawyer insight into your business operations and what projects you have been working on.
Your attorney may request to view technical drawings and information in order to confirm that you have developed your idea thoroughly. These documents can serve as evidence supporting the claims you make in the claims and specifications section of the application.
When seeking a patent lawyer, look for one with an established reputation for offering top-notch services at reasonable costs. These attorneys may work for solo practices or larger firms specializing in this area of law.
These professionals are usually USPTO registered, meaning they provide legal counsel at an expert level. With years of experience assessing whether an idea is patentable and applying for a patent, these specialists possess valuable insight.
Once your attorney confirms that your idea is patentable, they will suggest filing for a patent. They use an experienced patent searcher to guarantee your invention hasn’t already been protected by someone else.
Once the patent search is complete, your attorney will create up to two drafts of your application and file it electronically with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They will also keep in contact throughout each step in the process.
Typically, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is utilized to safeguard a company’s intellectual property. It may also shield the information of employees and contractors within that organization.
A NDA must be specific about who will receive sensitive information and what type of confidential data the company wants kept private. This could include details about a new product, patent application details, pending litigation, or data about client or customer bases of the business.
If a non-disclosure agreement isn’t properly executed, businesses could face legal repercussions for breach of contract. That’s why having an experienced lawyer review the contract before signing it is so essential.
In order for an agreement to be valid, both parties must identify which states govern it and who pays attorney fees in case of dispute. If one party resides in a different jurisdiction than the other, this information is especially critical.
Typically, an NDA will have a term of two to five years. During that time, both parties must only use the information for legitimate purposes and may not share it with any third party without first receiving consent from the other.
An NDA must also contain equitable remedies. This means the party who suffers due to a breach of contract can seek restitution in court or obtain an injunction that prevents public disclosure of the information.
This is essential, as it allows the party to recoup its economic damages and avoid having to pay legal costs. Nonetheless, it should be noted that this should only be used as a last resort.
Different NDAs exist, such as mutual and bilateral. One-way NDAs also exist where only one party expects to disclose certain information.
A bilateral NDA is often an advantageous solution for businesses that must exchange information with a partner, such as during mergers and acquisitions. Furthermore, unilateral NDAs can benefit those businesses which need to protect their proprietary information in order to abide by patent laws or trade secrets regulations, among other reasons.