How To File A Patent: Everything You Should Know About Getting a Patent

How To File A Patent

In today’s world, business environments are changing rapidly, and new technology can be a liability as well as an asset. As a business owner or an inventor, the most crucial step you should take is obtaining and enforcing a patent.


BestLegalChoice Intellectual Property Lawyers

Best Legal Choice is a platform that allows clients to connect and work with top trusted attorneys with years of experience in diverse fields such as Intellectual Property. Our network of attorneys works tirelessly to protect the intellectual property interests of their clients.


We deal with trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Best Legal Choice intellectual property attorneys strive to provide clients with the most legal solutions to protect their domestic and international interests.


Our Practice Areas Include:

Trade Secrets

Trade Policy Development

Trade Policy Counseling

Misappropriation Litigation

Business Counseling

Trade Secret Protection System Audits



Patent Application

Patent Maintenance

Patent Search for Infringement, Novelty, and Invalidity

Patent License, Negotiation, and Assignment

Patent Application Preparation

Patent Filing and Prosecution



Copyright Application

Copyright Preparation and Filing

Copyright License, Negotiation, and Assignment

Copyright Ownership Search

Copyright Renewal



U.S and Global Trademark Searches

Global Trademark Filing

Global Trademark Application Preparation

Trademark License, Negotiation, and Assignment

Trademark Maintenance


Technology Transfer

Cross-Licensing and Joint Intellectual Property Development

Negotiations and Intellectual Property Licensing Agreements



Intellectual Property Litigation


What is a Patent and How to File a Patent?

A patent is a property right granted to inventors by the government. It forbids others from making or using an invention. Obtaining a patent for your idea gives you exclusive rights for at least 20 years. If someone steals your invention, a patent gives you the right to sue such a person.


At times, a patent owner may decide to sell the patent to someone who didn’t invent the item. When someone buys a patent, they get the patent right of the invention. However, the original inventor is the only one who can obtain a patent from the USPTO.


Types of Patents:   


  1. Software Patent- A software patent protects software.


  1. Utility Patent- Utility patents are the most common types of patents. They protect inventions with specific functions.


  1. Plant Patent- Plant patents protect plants such as vegetables or flowers, which inventors have discovered or created and then produced.


  1. Design Patent- Design patents protect non-functional parts of items, such as aesthetic qualities or unique shapes.


How to File a Patent for Your Invention

Anyone who needs to get a patent should ensure that their idea is patentable. For your idea to be patentable, your invention should be fully developed, and no one else should have patented it. The next step is to file an application with the USPTO- the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Filing can be a complicated process depending on the patent type (software patent, design, utility, or plant).


The Importance of Getting a Patent

Other than making a profit, there are other reasons why inventors choose to file for patents. They include protecting intellectual property rights and gaining recognition. Patents give patent holders or inventors the right to sue for patent infringement in case their invention is stolen and is put on the market. Patent holders can only be protected from patent infringement by the law only when the USPTO approves their patent application.


 Protecting Your Invention Before Getting a Patent

If you haven’t fully developed your idea and you need the help of others to perfect it, your best option is to draft a confidentiality agreement. Confidentiality agreements ensure that your idea is not stolen before it’s considered a real invention.


If you work with someone to help you develop your idea and they steal it after signing a confidentiality agreement, you can take legal action in a court of law. Intellectual property lawyers can help you draft a confidentiality agreement. Always note that firms won’t assist you in developing your ideas if they aren’t developed to a point where you’re able to file for a provisional patent application.


What is a Provisional Patent Application?

Provisional patent applications act as placeholders to those whose inventions are not yet perfect or those who aren’t ready to file patent applications. Provision patent applications allow inventors to label their inventions as “pending patents.” They act as a warning to those who intend to steal an inventor’s idea or property.


Provisional patent applications last for a year (12 months) from when they are filed. The 12 months period gives inventors time to fine-tune their inventions in preparation for marketing. Provisional patent applications require inventors to provide descriptions for their inventions. 


Provisional patent applications don’t require many details, and the use of accurate language is crucial. The “accurate language” used shouldn’t be too specific because provisional patent applications don’t cover the extra things added to your invention after filing the application.


Note that provisional patents can’t be extended beyond the 12 months. As such, inventors need to file regular patent applications before a year lapses.


Is There a Reason Why I shouldn’t Get a Patent?

Patents are crucial in protecting intellectual property rights. The only reason why you shouldn’t apply for a patent is when your invention isn’t patentable. There are two reasons why inventions may not qualify for a patent. They are:

-Your ideas aren’t fully developed into inventions.

-Someone already holds a patent for your “invention.”


How Do I Know if Someone has Patented My Invention?

Before you can ascertain that your idea isn’t patented by someone else, it is necessary to do extensive patent research.

-Start by searching the USPTO Patent Database. You can also research about patent applications that haven’t been approved on an online Patent Application Database.

-Extend your search to global patent databases. You may also search for the information you require by going through relevant publications that relate to the line of business or industry your invention fits in.

-Seek professional help. Patent research is often time-consuming. Most often than not, you will require the help of a professional researcher. A patent lawyer will help you find the right person to assist you with your research.

-Go through similar inventions and note their differences. You might find that there are identical inventions that relate or are close to your idea. Be ready to explain why your invention differs from such inventions or why your invention is better.


Do You Have a Fully Developed Idea?

Ideas aren’t patentable, inventions are. Before you have an invention, you don’t necessarily need a prototype that is fully functioning. What you require is an excellent description of your invention. Your description should have enough details in that someone skilled in your invention’s field can understand it and produce your invention.


Note that patent applications require sketches of your invention. If you don’t have artistic abilities, you can always hire patent illustrators to provide detailed drawings for you.


Why You Need a Patent Attorney to File a Patent?

Although you can get a patent without the help of an attorney, you might run into some problems that may need an intervention of an intellectual property lawyer. Professional patent lawyers will not only help with research, but they also guarantee to protect your invention.


Proceeding to get a patent without legal guidance might see you spend tonnes of cash on an application that is eventually rejected. Intellectual property lawyers will help you through the application process and assist you in tackling problems that might arise after submitting your application.


Intellectual Property Frequently Asked Questions


How Much Will I Spend to File a Patent for my Invention?

Obtaining a patent does not have a fixed rate. The rate depends on your invention’s complications. Basic filing fees begin at $140 for small bodies such as universities, small businesses, or individual inventors. The basic filing fee of larger businesses is $280. These costs are only beginning when seeking a patent.

A table on the USPTO states all government costs for obtaining a patent. The price depends on various factors, such as the number of claims in your application, the number of pages your application has, and how you file.


Inventors part away with $5,000-$7,000 in lawyer fees for extremely simple inventions. However, the attorney fee may exceed $16,000 for software and complex inventions. These figures should not worry inventors who require the services of an intellectual property attorney because they will have legal representation, and the returns they’ll get after acquiring a patent will make the attorney fee seem like a drop in the ocean.


Why are Intellectual Property Fees so High?

Patent lawyers are not only knowledgeable in law, but they also have vast knowledge and experience in fields that clients wish to get patents in. These professionals are highly skilled in what they do, and they dedicate their time and effort to guiding clients through the complex patent process.


Patent lawyers might even go the extra mile of negotiating at patent offices on their clients’ behalf. The extra effort means that they have to spend more time working on your legal patent requirements, which means they also incur additional expenses.


You might opt to take shortcuts if you have a limited budget. However, hiring a qualified intellectual property attorney to help you do an in-depth patent search can save you from long-term agonies that come with patent and intellectual property rights challenges. In other words, working with a patent lawyer will help save your money in the long-run.


What is the Period of Obtaining a Patent Search?

After filing your application, don’t raise the expectations of hearing from the USPTO soon. You may have to wait for at least a year or longer before they get back to you. The period may be longer if numerous inventions resemble yours, meaning that the USPTO has to do extensive research.


When you get a response from the USPTO, they may decline to approve your invention because it has a lot in common with inventions that preceded yours. In short, they might say that your invention isn’t new. The USPTO might also state that you didn’t describe your invention in detail. If you get such responses, working with an intellectual property attorney would be a prudent thing to do.


The Steps of Filing and Getting a Patent:   


  1. Work on your invention while documenting the entire process. Always have a notebook that includes modifications, ideas, diagrams, etc. Sign and date all entries. It is advisable to have several witnesses sign the entries.


  1. Confirm that you don’t have an idea, but an invention. Do thorough patent research to ascertain that another person has not patented your invention.


  1. Consider the commercial viability of your invention. Ensure that you perform extensive market research in your invention’s industry to decide if pursuing a patent favor or disfavors your financial interests.


  1. Seek the services of a patent attorney. You might need a patent attorney to guide you through the application process and assist with in-depth patent research.


  1. Submit a detailed provisional patent application. Doing this will give you time to perfect your invention.


  1. Submit the application. Patent applications require numerous elements, such as descriptions of your invention and outlining its advantages.


  1. Along with the application, you are also required to submit claims. The claims determine the aspects of your invention that need protection. Along with these two documents, you might also submit a non-publication request stopping the USPTO from publishing your application one and a half years after filing.


  1. Communicate with the Patent Office. The USPTO might raise objections and ask numerous questions about your application. Work with your patent lawyer to have a smooth time handling issues raised by the Patent Office.


Obtaining a patent has no strict rules. You may decide to take a different step. For instance, you can hire a patent lawyer before commencing your research. You can also do extensive market research before developing your ideas into inventions.


How to File a Patent - the Patent Filing Process

Patents give inventors sole ownership of their inventions for a certain period, enabling them to reap the fruits of their inventions. Patent application processes are complex, but with a qualified patent lawyer, you can successfully achieve your goals. Intellectual property lawyers assist their clients throughout the patent process by replying to USPTO objections and performing extensive patent research.


Now that you are aware of how the patent process works, you can readily take appropriate measures to protect your inventions. If you require any help to get a patent, reach out to a patent lawyer on our platform or call us at (800) 390-3293. Get bids from top patent attorneys and lawyers on any of your patent needs. We have qualified and experienced intellectual property attorneys to handle your patent rights issues.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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