The Spirit of Ingenuity
Do you have an idea of your own that could revolutionize everyday lives? The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has helped thousands of inventors navigate the system of ling their inventions for development. These are the basic steps required on the path to your own patent.
- Perform a complete patent search using the internet, libraries, and trade magazines—before you develop your idea. This can be time-consuming, but the effort you spend now saves you disappointment later.
- Review qualifications and commercial viability. Patents are granted to inventions that demonstrate a new use different from anything that has been created before. And you’ll want to know if there’s a market ready to purchase your idea before you put the work into producing it.
- Keep a journal of each step in your process. Document every idea, every revision, every sketch, and have each entry of your
notebook signed by two witnesses.
- File the application. You can either file a Provisional or Regular Patent Application (PPA or RPA). The PPA grants you “patent pending” status for a year, and requires a smaller fee and less formal details. The RPA is the application for a full patent, and triggers the rigorous examination process that goes into approval.
In 2015 there were 629,647 grant applications submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Of these, 298,407 patents were granted.
Sources: Nolo.com, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office