Saturday, Feb. 11 is National Inventor’s Day according to www.nationalcalendarday.org – what better time to research what you need to get that brilliant idea patented and business started – here’s how to get started:
Step 1: Determine the type of Intellectual Property protection that you need – To protect your invention, you may need a patent, trademark, copyright, marketing plan, trade secrets, or some combination of these.
Step 2: Determine if your invention is patentable – To determine if you can patent your invention, you will need to know the answers to a few simple questions, including:
- Who can apply for a patent?
- What can and cannot be patented?
- How do I know if my invention is patentable?
- How long does patent protection last?
- How much does it cost to get a patent
Step 3: What kind of patent do you need? There are three types of patents – Utility, Design, and Plant – you’ll need to choose the best fit.
Step 4: Get ready to apply – Once you have determined the type of Patent that you need, you can consider your application strategy and whether to use professional legal services.
Step 5: Prepare and submit your initial application – See the Patent Application Guides for the detailed legal requirements for filing the type of Patent Application you have determined is right for you.
Step 6: Work with your examiner – Your examiner will review the contents of the application to determine if the application meets the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 111(a). If your application is incomplete, you will be notified of the deficiencies
Step 7: Receive your approval – If the examiner determines that your application is in satisfactory condition and meets the requirements, you will receive a Notice of Allowance.
Step 8: Maintain your patent– Maintenance fees are required to maintain a patent in force beyond four, eight, and 12 years after the issue date for utility and reissue utility patents. If the maintenance fee and any applicable surcharge are not paid in a timely manner, the patent will expire.