How To Patent an Idea in the USA?

If you have an invention or an idea that you think is worth protecting, then you should definitely consider getting a patent. A patent is a legal document that grants you the sole power to manufacture, use, and trade your invention for a particular period of time (20 Years).

In the United States, you can apply for a patent through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The process can be confusing and overwhelming, but with a little research and planning, you can do it!

This article provides a complete guide on how to patent an idea in the United States. It covers everything from researching whether your idea is patentable to filing the application and paying the fees.

Why Should you Patent an Idea? Is it worth?

There are many reasons why you should patent an idea. A patent can give you the exclusive right to make, use, and sell your invention for a period of time. This can be a valuable asset for your business, as it can give you a competitive advantage and help you generate revenue.

Additionally, A patent can also benefit you in preventing the copying or reverse engineering of your innovation.  This can be especially important if you have a new or unique product or process. Finally, a patent can also help you attract investors, as it can show that you have a serious commitment to your invention.

Overall, patenting an idea can be a very worthwhile investment. It can give you exclusive rights to your invention, help you protect it from being copied, and attract investors.

Requirements to patent an Idea

In order to patent an idea, you must first determine if your idea is eligible for patent protection. To be eligible, your idea must be new, useful, and non-obvious. Additionally, your idea must fall into one of the following categories:

– Process

– Machine

– Manufacture

– Composition of matter

– Improvement of existing patents

If your idea meets these requirements, you can then file your patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent application process can be complex, so it’s important to consult with a patent attorney to ensure that you are taking the proper steps to protect your idea.

The cost needed to patent an Idea

Patenting an idea in the United States can be a costly and time-consuming process. The cost of filing a patent application and hiring a patent attorney can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. And the process of getting a patent can take one to two years or more.

So if you’re thinking about patenting an idea, it’s important to understand the costs involved. In this article, we’ll go over the costs of filing a patent application and hiring a patent attorney in the United States.

The process to patent an idea

Patenting is the process of protecting an invention from being made, used, or sold by others without the permission of the inventor. In the United States, patents are granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To be granted a patent, an invention must be new, useful, and non-obvious.

There are three types of patents:

1. Utility patents

2.  Design patents, and

3. Plant patents.

Utility patents are the most common type of patent and protect inventions that are functional, such as machines, processes, and chemicals. Design patents protect the ornamental design of an object, such as the shape of a bottle or the design of a lamp. Plant patents protect new varieties of plants.

6 Steps to Patent an Idea

Step 1 – Determine if your invention is eligible for a patent

  • To qualify for a patent, an idea or invention must be fully original and non-obvious.
  • Check to see if your invention has already been made or has been described in a patent application; if so, you won’t be able to patent it.
  • •A patent cannot combine two facts that are evident or well-known. Your concept must be original or the manner you’re fusing it must be proprietary.
  • An inventive concept cannot be overly abstract.  The idea is not patentable if the formula is not directly connected to an application or procedure. To be eligible, your idea must have a practical application.
  • Natural discoveries are not able to obtain patent protection.
  • Your patent must be used in a specific, non-speculative manner. You cannot assume that using a stronger concentration of a plant extract to create an anti-aging lotion will cure cancer. To get a patent on the latter, you’ll need to specify the details of how it operates.

Step 2 – Keep a Detailed Record of Everything

A patent cannot be granted based only on an idea. Additionally, you might need to provide evidence that the concept is exclusive to you.

To accomplish this, you should write down each concept you have along with any supporting documentation in a journal or notebook. All of this—from unpublished notes to sketches, corrections, errors, and more—could support the claim that you are the author of this novel concept.

Sign and date every page of your notes and record. Have one or two witnesses sign the pages as well, if you can.

Step 3 – Make a Prototype

Before you submit the necessary papers for a patent, you need to have a model or prototype of your idea ready. 

You should be able to physically demonstrate the prototype to someone. You would need to give investors more than just a concept, for instance, if your idea is an innovation that you want to license or propose to investors for funding.

A precise drawing is the greatest place to start when making a prototype. The photos will also be employed while filing for a patent.

It takes more than just a simple sketch to represent your invention in a patent application. You should definitely hire a specialized patent drawing service provider/

Step 4 – Apply For a Provisional Patent

If you think you are not ready yet to submit a patent application to protect an idea. Applying for a provisional patent is an alternative if you require more time to prepare the application.

While you complete the specifics of your official application, you can safeguard your concept for up to a year by submitting a provisional patent application.

In essence, this maintains your position with the USPTO and stops anyone else from acquiring rights to the idea before you.

Step 5 – Hire a Patent Attorney

It’s always in your best advantage to appoint a lawyer for something as crucial as a patent.

Remember that this is a time-consuming and costly process. You don’t want to invest up to $25,000 and two years of your life in an application that the USPTO will later reject.

A patent lawyer can guide you through the rest of the process to confirm the legitimacy of your concept and help you determine whether it is patentable. If you are unable to defend your invention in court against patent infringement, patents are useless. The patent will be made impenetrable with the assistance of an attorney.

Step 6 – File a patent application with the USPTO

The patent application needs to be submitted and filed right away. You’ll be prepared for this when the time comes if you followed each of the preceding steps.

Again, the patent application must wait if you have already applied for a provisional patent and are still refining the idea. During the “patent pending” phase, you have up to a year to develop your idea..

There is always the option to submit your patent application independently via the USPTO website. The directions are not too difficult to follow.

However, we strongly advise hiring the lawyer you hired in the prior step to assist with this procedure.