We at LawTrades help inventors navigate the maze of requirements, as well as select the route that makes the most sense - whether it’s a regular utility or provisional patent, or trade secret protection. An experienced attorney can save you lots of money and time, while helping you to add value to your invention. Aside from hiring an attorney, here are some other tips:
- Obtaining some basic understanding of patents is a good idea prior to starting your application. Princeton offers a very good primer on patents that could help you expand you knowledge of what’s involved in protecting your ideas. The USPTO also offers a wealth of information on what is required, how it should be presented, what the specification anddrawings should look like, and a host of other important material.
- Patent searches are essential. Start here with Google Patent search. You’ll also want to search the USPTO database. Conclude your search with a simple worldwide search here.
- You should write a list of unique benefits and features that distinguish the novelty of your idea. Take about a week to develop a thorough profile while spending some time developing your list on a daily basis. This will help you immensely when you start the actual application.
- Don’t shy away from provisional patent applications! Filing a provisional patent application is certainly easier, cheaper and faster than filing a utility patent application. It’s a route that allows you to buy some time (a year), to develop and market your idea. If it gains traction during the year, then you can convert it into a utility patent; if not, then you can simply let it lapse knowing that you made the right decision to not invest the thousands of extra dollars and years it would’ve taken to obtain a utility patent. If you convert your provisional to a utility application before the end of one year, you can claim priority to your previous provisional application/s.
- Regarding the actual application - keep it simple, but focused. Select the top features that distinguish your invention and provide a brief, but detailed description about each characteristic.