If you have a really good idea that you feel could be life changing for people all over the world but you don’t want anyone else to come up with it while you are in the process of trying to make it happen then you should start looking into applying for a patent. But before you apply there are a few things that you should know about the process and if you should spend all that time applying.
Just because you have a really good idea does not mean that it will qualify for a patent because there are criteria that it has to fit within. If you think you should move forward with applying for a patent you will need an attorney. This Idaho patent attorney is really knowledgeable on how to move forward.
Does it Qualify for a Patent
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office any person who “invents or discovers any new or useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter may obtain a patent.” It cannot just be an idea that you present. It has to be a well thought out and planned idea. Well enough that you could pass on the information to another person and they could understand and do what you have mapped out in your head.
Type of Patent
There are three different types of patents that you can obtain. It will either be a utility patent, design patent or plant patent. Utility patents are for things that are most commonly used such as technology, toothbrushes and other things as such. For a design patent it would be a new thing or improvement to items such as jewelry or furniture. Lastly there is the plant patent, this is for those that create or discover a new plants that can also reproduce asexually. Your invention must fit into one of these categories in order to apply for a patent but figuring out which category yours falls under should not be too difficult.
Provisional Patent vs Non-Provisional Patent
When applying for a patent there are two types of applications you can choose from. IT is either provisional or non-provisional. The difference between the two are that the provisional patent application does not get reviewed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office even though it is submitted to them. Non-provisional patents are reviewed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Provisional patent applications are a way to get your foot in the door with your invention for when you are ready to submit your non-provisional application. The benefits of provisional is that it is less expensive to file, easier and faster to file. But in the long run you will also have to do a non-provisional application to finalize your patent.
Are you Ready to Obtain a Patent?
The process in which you try to receive a patent for your invention can be a long journey. If you are sure that your idea is one that is eligible for patent, you know what category your invention falls under and you have decided which patent application you are going to do then you could be ready to take the next steps in protecting your ideas.