Understanding how to apply for a patent, can be a complicated process, particularly if it is your first time. Most applications are rejected the first time. You will no doubt have to appeal these rejections and make amendments to your patent claim.
Be very patient; as it is not uncommon for filing a patent to take up to 3 years or more. Taking on the task to patent it yourself can lead to many denials. Do it yourself is an option, but it is not recommended. Definitely align yourself with a patent attorney or patent agent that understand patent law and invention protection.
Speak The Language Of The Patent Examiner
One of the first steps in applying for a patent involves submitting the patent application to the USPTO. Unless you enjoy reading content that seems it was only made for the eyes of judges and lawyers, it is important to learn a little legal terminology. The lingo on patent applications is very law specific. When researching how to apply for a patent, the way you convey your written words can affect whether or not you are approved or rejected.
The potential for a success response increases if you enlist the services of a patent attorney or agent. The better you answer the questions and objections, the more of a chance the patent examiner will see things in your favor. Many inventors have missed out on profitable opportunities because of poor execution in their ability to write in a descriptive and convincing manor. They apply for a patent without a solid plan of attack for getting the response they want.
Consider Applying For A Provisional Patent
If you first want to educate yourself on learning how to apply for a patent, then you may want to get provisional patents initially. Keep in mind that the inventor that files the provisional patent has up to one year to “rent” these rights. This establishes a record of the invention that trumps applications to your same invention.
While there are some drawbacks to doing so, this patent is much cheaper, does not require you to write claims, and offers you protection with patent pending status. This allows you to establish an early priority date without the high cost of drafting a formal application. But you must file a non-provisional patent (NPA) within the year.
Get Legal Help
For those that want a crack at it themselves, there are also patent submission services that allow you to apply for a patent online with the assistance of industry professionals. These lower costing alternatives still will require you to do the majority of the legwork. There help is not detailed, but more speaking in general terms.
Steps to apply for patents are not that difficult in theory. Its the details and a persuasive and detailed writing style that might have you considering
hiring a patent attorney or patent agent. The only differnce between the two is that a patent attorney is a licensed lawyer. This helps if you should have
to court to protect or defend your rights. Both will act as the liaison for you and the patent office. They will show you how to apply for
a patent, perform a patent search if one is needed, and keep you apprised of all developments.
However, keep in mind that the services of a patent attorney or patent agent are not free. You will still have to do some of the leg work yourself,
and any work that they perform will be billed either on an hourly rate or a set fee basis. Patent Agents typically charge much less for their services.
If you can learn how to apply for a patent on your own, you may find that it is easier and less costly to do the work yourself.