In today’s world of innovation, your invention isn’t safe until you secure a patent for it. Therefore, acquiring patent protection is very important because it gives you an exclusionary right for your invention. This can help you to monetize your invention and get a return on your investment in the invention and the patent.
You need to file a patent with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Also, you need to be very prudent during the entire patent process. This is to ensure that you have a seamless procedure and avoid unwanted expenses.
But how do you secure a patent? Let’s find out here.
Conduct a Patent Search
Before you decide whether to file a patent application with the USPTO, you must conduct a patent novelty search first. In order to secure a patent, your invention must satisfy the 3 patentability criterions. These are novelty, non-obviousness, and industrial applicability.
You determine the novelty (originality) aspect by conducting a patent novelty search (also known as prior art search). The idea is to look for any information that might overlap with your invention. This is not a mandatory step from a legal standpoint but it’s prudent to do it.
Prepare Your Draft to Secure a Patent
If the results of the patent search reveal that your invention is original, you can start writing the patent. Also, you must evaluate whether your invention is still a prototype or has become a finished product. Depending on the state of your invention, you must prepare either a Provisional Application or a Complete Application.
A provisional application allows you a period of 12 months to finish your invention. After this, you must file a complete application to secure a patent. The benefit of the provisional application is that later on while filing the complete application, you can use the priority date of the provisional application.
However, while preparing the draft, you cannot understate the importance of the different sections, especially the patent claims. This can be a little difficult because of the elaborate guidelines laid down by the USPTO.
You may wish to write a patent application on your own. But it is important to understand that it is not an easy task. Hence you should consider hiring a legal representative to assist you on the same.
Prepare Patent Illustrations
A vital part of your patent application is the patent illustrations. They are illustrations that depict your invention, its intricate parts and the processes involved. Whether your invention is a new product or a process, in order to secure a patent, patent illustrations are very important.
However, it is absolutely critical to know the do’s and don’ts of a patent illustration while preparing one. It should help your case, and not hinder it while elucidating your invention. You can prepare the illustrations yourself via hand or computer software. But, if you are not familiar with the drawing rules, it is advisable to hire an illustration service.
Also, it is important to know that provisional applications don’t mandatorily require illustrations with them. But, for a complete application, you must submit detailed illustrations.
File the Patent Application
Once your draft and illustrations are ready, you can file the patent with the USPTO. You have 2 modes of filing here:
Whatever patent application you have to file, use EFS-Web. It is the USPTO’s electronic filing system for patent applications. It is also used for any official correspondence with the USPTO via the Internet.
You can send the application via delivery by U.S. mail, or hand delivery to the Office in Alexandria, Virginia. But the offline method charges you a lot of extra money, so it is preferable to use the online method.
Patent Examination to Secure a Patent
After you file your application, you will have an examination for the same. The examiner will produce a series of Office Actions and pose the issues with your application. These could vary from minor technical issues to big ones. Your job is to clear every query in order to secure a patent.
Once you clear all the obstacles, you will receive a patent grant. The patent is valid for 20 years, subject to renewal fees payment at regular intervals.
Need a professional illustrator? – Patent Illustration Express
Conclusively, you can see that in order to secure a patent, you must go through an elaborate process. A huge part of the process is your patent illustrations. It is often the case that producing your own patent illustrations becomes overwhelming. The margins for error are too fine and the guidelines are too many.
If you feel the need to consult a professional, Patent Illustration Express is here to help you. Our team of professionals boasts years of experience and diverse skill-set of software and handmade drawings. We specialize in Utility Patent and Design Patent drawings. Your satisfaction is paramount to us. We offer an incredibly fast turn around time and unlimited iterations, all at an extremely affordable price.
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