Are you looking to patent your product or idea but have no idea how to get started? Here are a few points you might want to pay attention to:
1) Seek the services of a professional.
It’s perfectly legal and possible to file a patent on your own—but consider hiring a patent attorney if you can afford to do so. Patenting a product is a precise process, and doing one thing incorrectly could result in an invalid patent. An intellectual property attorney will ensure that things are done right. There are affordable online services such as the patent services provided by Legal Zoom that may be less costly than finding a local attorney.
2) Get investors.
If you can’t afford those pricey attorney’s fees, then prepare a business plan to present to possible investors. Offer these possible investors a percentage of your royalties or equity in your new venture. Investors can help pay for the patenting process, but will also benefit from your future earnings.
3) Opt for a provisional patent application.
A PPA or provisional patent application is less work. By filing a PPA, you’ll have one year to file for a full, formal patent. All you need to file this form of patent is an informal drawing of your product, a detailed description of your invention and a small fee. Of course, there are drawbacks to this form of application—so do your research and make sure this is your best option.
One great way to truly understand how to write up a patent for your idea or invention is by researching and studying patents that have already been issued. When possible, search for patents that have been issued for products that are similar to yours.
5) Be discreet.
One of the most important things to remember is to be discreet about your idea or invention at all times. Be selective about who you discuss your product with. As much as possible, avoid talking about your product with people who aren’t bound by a non-disclosure agreement.
6) Practice patience.
Receiving a patent certificate for your idea or invention can take up to two years–and maybe even longer. Don’t be discouraged by how long the process takes. Keep your fingers crossed and wait it out.
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