How To Get a Patent

So you’ve created something really special and totally new, and now you want to protect it. Congratulations! Have you considered getting a patent?

A patent grants you the property rights to something that you invented. Crucially, a patent does not give you the right to manufacture and sell your invention. You can do that without a patent. Rather, a patent gives you the right to exclude others from also manufacturing and selling your invention. It gives you exclusive legal rights as the owner of your invention, and stops your competitors from having the legal right to copy you.

Patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, known as the USPTO. Patent rights are typically granted for twenty years from the date when you first applied for them. The USPTO lists three different types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. The process to get approved for them is all the same.

The first step to getting a patent is determining if your invention can be patented at all. If your invention has already been publicly disclosed, it cannot be patented. Even if you think you have an entirely new invention on your hands, someone else may have already discovered it and shared it publicly. A patentability search is global, so it even considers if someone on the other side of the globe in an entirely different language has already shared your invention. The USPTO themselves highly recommend using an Intellectual Property lawyer to help you with the search, since it is extremely difficult to do it thoroughly on your own.

From there, you will work with your attorney to prepare and eventually submit your Patent Application. It is important to be diligent about the paperwork and fees required during this stage of the process, in order to submit it before Patent Protection runs out. It is also important to be all-inclusive in the material you are describing and sending to the USPTO. Make sure you are sending them everything they need in order to grant your patent.

Once your patent application is filed, the USPTO will assign you an examiner and you will eventually receive either an approval or a rejection. To be transparent, it is common for years to pass between submitting your application and hearing back. It is also common to be rejected at first. From there, you can cater to what the USPTO is looking for and be approved on your second try. If you are approved on your first try, you might not have picked a broad enough coverage for your invention.

Getting a patent approved is a long and involved process, but it is absolutely worth it. As we mentioned, you do not have to wait until your patent is approved to sell your invention. That is where the phrase “Patent Pending” comes from. If you think you have a patentable invention on your hands, contact McDermott IP Law today! We can help you through every step of the process and protect your innovation.

The following two tabs change content below.

McDermott IP Law

We are committed to providing professional and authoritative legal advice to our clients. With decades of experience, we deliver sophisticated, cost-effective, and prompt solutions to your Intellectual Property needs.

Latest posts by McDermott IP Law (see all)