After making a breakthrough invention which you believe could fill a need and make money, patent filing is the next most important step. Patent filing is no easy task. If you are willing to spend money, then you should hire a patent lawyer to help you with the technicalities surrounding patent filing for inventions. But if you don’t have money, patent filing is still possible. You could do patent filing on your own without the need to pay huge sum of money on lawyer’s fees.
The patent filing process though could be complex, lengthy and tedious. But the much-awaited patent is worth all the efforts in the end. There are different steps to follow in patent filing whether you hire a lawyer or not. These include the following:
1. Describe the Invention on Paper
Use a notebook to record the invention process and round up a couple of people who are willing to sign as witnesses.
2. Decide Whether or Not You Might Have a Protectable Invention
In patent filing you must fit your invention into one of the Patent and Trademark Office's broad categories and satisfy yourself that the invention is something new.
3. Assess the Commercial Potential of Your Invention
Know the commercial value of your patent before patent filing and the potential market.
4. Decide Whether or Not Your Invention Is New Enough to Qualify for a Patent
Before patent filing you need a thorough knowledge of previous developments (called the prior art) in the area of your invention.
5. Draft and File the Patent Application
Broadly put, there are four main tasks involved in patent filing:
* Describing your invention's background, including why your invention is different from other relevant inventions and deserves a patent.
* Illustrating your invention through drawings, flowcharts, or diagrams (many inventors assign this task to graphic artists, though you can do it yourself with a self-help resource).
* Describing your invention's physical structure (if any) and how it works.
* Describing exactly what aspects of your invention you wish to patent (the patent claims).
You can file a full-blown regular patent application (RPA) or you can file a provisional patent application (PPA) on the invention. All that is required to file a PPA is a fee of $80 ($160 for large companies), a detailed description of the invention, telling how to make and use it, and an informal drawing.
* 6. Deal with the Bureaucracy until Your Patent Is Issued
After patent filing you must respond to questions and objections raised by the Patent Office and negotiate for the best patent you can get. You may want to get some professional advice but in many cases the process is generally straightforward and doesn't involve difficult legal principles.