Getting A Patent For Your Neat Idea

Getting A Patent For Your Neat Idea

There are all sorts of problems in our everyday lives that need solving by creative thinkers. If you have a cool idea that can make someone’s life a little better, that could be worth pursuing. I’m sure you probably already know that in order to take your idea from just a thought to a marketable product, you’ve got to secure a U.S. patent. But, exactly how does a creative thinker like you go about getting a patent?

Well, first of all you need to familiarize yourself with how the patent process works. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) administers patents to inventors who can prove they’ve got a novel idea that no one else has done before. While many people say that there’s really nothing new under the sun, in fact, in 2009 there were over 400,000 U.S. patents filed. So, you can see that other inventors are more than willing to keep solving the world’s problems with original ideas.

When you’re just beginning the patent process, the first thing you want to do is make sure that you document your entire idea on paper. This includes documenting every little feature about how your invention is designed and how it will work. The more details you record, the more unique the idea becomes as described in You see, while there may be another product that is similar, it cannot be exactly like yours. Your invention must be the only one of it’s kind in order to qualify for patent protection.

Another thing you’ll have to do is to search for patents that are already on file that may be similar or exactly the same as your idea. If someone else has already thought it up and filed for the patent, you’re out of luck. Let’s pretend that you are sitting on an idea for a really cool portable music player that can store digital music and it can also store a bunch of photos and other cool stuff. It’s got a really sleek design and comes with detachable earplugs. Hmmm. That sounds an awful lot like an iPod, and you’re right. You cannot file a patent for a portable music player that looks and functions exactly like what’s already on the market.

However, if you came up with an mp3 player that could bounce like a ball and glows in the dark, now that would be something you could patent as unique. Anyway, you need to do a thorough patent search to ensure that your idea hasn’t already been claimed by someone else. You can do this yourself, or pay a professional to conduct the search for you.

Once you’ve established that nobody else has thought of your bouncing music player, you want to spend some money on getting a prototype made. A prototype is a demo version of your product that allows you to see how it works in real life. Unless you find an investor, the money for this will have to come out of your own pocket. Learn more about this step fromĀ

Now it’s time to go to the USPTO and file an application for a provisional patent. This is not the final patent, but a preliminary one that allows you to keep working on marketing your invention while giving you full legal protection. For instance, there’s a company interested in marketing the bouncing music player, but they want you to make a few tweaks. Make the tweaks and then apply for the final patent. You are then ready to license it to the highest bidder and make good money.

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