How To File A Utility Patent?
You should first explore your options if you want to learn how to file a utility patent. While you can easily file a utility patent on your own, you should conduct your research to see if hiring a patent attorney can help you be successful with your application.
A utility patent covers a product’s method, production, and/or system utilized in the product’s creation and use. The vast majority of patent applications are for utility patents. As a result, obtaining this form of a patent can be time-consuming and expensive. It depends entirely on the type of invention you have and if you want it patented only in the United States or internationally in other nations.
Step 1: International and Domestic Protection
Determine whether you want to file for protection both in the United States and abroad. There are additional measures to take if filing for worldwide patent protection, as pursuing protection in other nations can be considerably more expensive and time-consuming. If you do intend to seek protection in the United States, proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Type of Patent Protection
After deciding whether you want to file a provisional or non-provisional patent application in the United States, you must decide whether you want to file a provisional or non-provisional patent application. The provisional application is a faster and less expensive option than the non-provisional option. Furthermore, acquiring a provisional patent does not provide you with the standard 20-year patent protection. In essence, a provisional patent application is an application that you can file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that allows you to decide if you wish to file for non-provisional patent protection after 12 months.
During these 12 months, you will have protection over your creation in the sense that others will be unable to replicate or use it; moreover, you will be able to inform the world that your new idea is “patent pending.” Keep in mind, however, that if you do not register for non-provisional protection within that one year, you will lose protection.
Many inventors benefit from filing for provisional patent protection if they haven’t finished manufacturing their invention or need more time to figure out what to do next with it. Perhaps you’re an innovator who can’t afford to pay the fees associated with obtaining a patent. In that situation, you can pay a small fee to receive one-year protection, following which you must consider whether filing for non-provisional protection is the next logical step.
Those who seek to get non-provisional protection without first filing a provisional protection application should visit the USPTO website to learn about the steps involved in filing for protection. You’ll now go to Step 3.
Step 3: Do Your Research
Before filing for a non-provisional patent application, you should conduct a comprehensive study. You’ll want to research not only the various types of fees you’ll incur when filing for protection, but also the process itself – including the length of time it may take to obtain protection, any potential issues you may encounter along the way, filing deadlines, legal fees, and other professional fees if you choose to seek help when filing for protection.
Keep in mind that there are a variety of costs associated with seeking protection. Not only is there a filing fee, but there are also maintenance and issuing fees, legal fees if you hire a patent attorney, illustration fees if you hire a professional to create various drawings of your new invention, and other miscellaneous fees, which can include late filing fees, fees to amend your application, and a variety of other fees charged by the USPTO. In total, filing for protection might cost you more than $20,000. As a result, you’ll want to make sure you can afford such costs.
You should be aware of the different deadlines and timelines for filing for protection. For example, if you file your application and then receive a letter from the USPTO office stating that it has to be updated a year later, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to make the necessary adjustments. At the request of the patent examiner working for the USPTO, utility patent applications are frequently changed. Amendments might range from redrafting the invention with illustrations to being more precise about the sort of innovation, defining the invention and how or why it should be protected by a patent. You’ll have a certain amount of time to alter your application after getting the patent examiner’s request.
As a result, regardless of what is going on in your life at the time, you must adhere to the deadline set for you. If you don’t, you may be charged additional fees or be denied patent protection altogether. It’s crucial to realize that thousands of utility patent applications are filed every day; as a result, your innovation, no matter how sophisticated or simple it is, is one of many that patent examiners at the USPTO are reviewing.
You may wish to employ an experienced patent attorney to help you with your application, depending on how complicated your innovation is. In actuality, your attorney will handle all of the paperwork for you, allowing you to focus on more vital tasks such as developing your new invention and marketing your product. Even if you wish to register for protection on your own and save the extra costs, it’s a good idea to at least meet with an attorney, who will usually provide you with a free consultation. When meeting with an attorney, make sure to ask as many questions as possible to determine the complexity of your application and the attorney’s fees.
Ascertain that the attorney provides you with as much information as possible so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to seek protection from that attorney. Remember that an attorney who specializes in this field can generally advertise your product in such a way that it has a better probability of being patented.
If your innovation is clear and simple, you may be able to file for patent protection on your own. However, if your innovation is complex and difficult to grasp, hiring a patent attorney may be the best option.
Even if you decide to register your idea on your own, you may wish to engage a professional illustrator to create professional drawings of your innovation. This will assist the patent examiner assigned to your application in gaining a better understanding of the features of your invention, what it can perform, and how it will seem.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR NETWORK
When it came to patent protection, many people went through the same ordeal you did. Make use of your connections—talk to your friends and family, as well as your social media contacts. To ask inquiries, use social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. You may even know someone who has a connection to a qualified patent attorney. If you communicate with your network in this way, you’ll be able to get answers to more inquiries. Don’t be put off by the procedure. Inquire with your contacts to see if they can assist. Just keep in mind that you don’t have a patent on your innovation yet, so don’t offer them too much information! In either case, keep in mind that filing a utility patent, whether with or without the assistance of an attorney, can be costly and time-consuming. As a result, you must be patient and prepared to pay a variety of expenses.