Getting a Patent
In getting a patent knowing what to do and how to go about it is a very important requirement. It is not good to aim getting a patent and end up disappointed because of errors. Getting a patent could be a long process but the invention could have some huge commercial value which could certainly be worth all the trouble in going through the steps on getting a patent on it. There are a number ways on getting a patent that can be done by an inventor. Some inventors hire patent lawyers or patent agents to help them. Getting a patent is such a huge undertaking that they could not risk losing it. Others do it by themselves.
An inventor may try getting a patent to prosecute his own case, the Patent and Trademark Office usually recommends the use of an attorney or agent. This is so because lack of skill in getting a patent often detracts from obtaining the maximum protection for the invention. In most inventor-filed cases, the patent Examiner sees that the applicant is unfamiliar with the proper process on getting a patent and always urges the applicant to employ a registered patent attorney or agent to prosecute the application, since the value of a patent is largely dependent upon skillful preparation and prosecution. While the Examiner may recommend hiring an attorney or agent, he never suggests any particular one.
Doing a patent search is probably the first most important and basic step on getting a patent. This is a very important factor to consider in getting a patent to your invention. Getting a patent requires some knowledge on what qualifies of patentability. This includes the following:
1. Novelty - meaning that the technology is not "anticipated" or identical to an invention disclosed in a single piece of prior art.
2. Non-Obviousness - meaning that the technology must be different enough from the prior art so as to not be obvious in view of the prior art.
3. Utility - meaning that the invention must have a useful purpose.
If you find that getting a patent is a viable idea, then the next step on getting a patent is to file a patent application in the USPTO. After the application has been filed in the USPTO, it is assigned to a patent examiner. The next step on getting a patent is for the patent examiner to make an exhaustive review on the application. This is done through correspondence with the examiner, discussions in person or by telephone, and perhaps doing some amendments to the claims. If the invention is not patentable, the applicant can appeal to the USPTO's Board of Appeals. This phase on getting a patent requires the aid of a patent lawyer. If the Board's decision is unfavorable, a further appeal may be taken by the patent lawyer to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.