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10 Tips for Filing a Successful Patent Application

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2020 | Patent Law

If you are an entrepreneur who is hoping to start a business, receiving a patent can be extremely important. Protecting your next big idea is extremely important. If you have a new idea for a technology or product, it is essential that you seek a patent for that idea. By successfully securing a patent, you will be able to protect the use of your idea from other businesses who might try to profit off of your idea. Below are a few tips for business owners who need to file a patent for their idea or invention.

Check and Double-Check Your Product or Idea

Seeking a patent is often a time-consuming and expensive process. It is important that you put your eggs in the right basket, so to speak. Make sure that you are spending your time on a product that you have thoroughly tested and researched. If you apply for a patent for a product that does not work, another person or business might be able to invalidate your patent.

Decide Whether You Really Need a Patent or Not

While patents are often necessary, you might be better off securing a provisional patent. For example, if you will need to provide information on the aspect of your product that makes it work, and that information is secret, a provisional patent might work better for you. By filing a provisional patent, you will have some more time to figure out how to make your product a commercial success. Provisional patents are also less expensive. The best way to know whether or not you need a provisional patent is to speak to an experienced patent attorney.

Check for Prior Inventions

Part of filing a patent is making sure that someone else has not already patented your idea. If someone else has already patented your idea, you will not be able to secure a patent. You can search for patents on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) office. You should also take some time to ensure that the idea or product you would like to patent is something you can actually patent. The best way to ensure that your idea is ready to be patented is to speak with a skilled patent attorney.

Determine What Type of Patent You Need

There are three types of patents for which you can apply — a provisional patent, a utility patent, a design patent, or a plant patent. A utility patent is the most common type of patent. Utility patents are technical documents that teach the public how to use a process, new machine, or system. Congress has defined which types of inventions are protected by utility patents. Provisional patents involve a less formal document. In a provisional patent, you will need to prove that you as the inventor have been in possession of the invention. You will also need to prove that you as the inventor have figured out how to make the invention work adequately. The inventor will prove that he or she was in possession of the invention and has figured out how to make the invention work. Genetic engineering and internet-delivered software often require a utility patent.

Design patents protect ornamental designs on a useful item. For example, you can get a patent for the shape of the bottle, or a shirt or shoe. Design patents are often made up entirely of drawings or pictures of the design of the useful item. It can be difficult to search for design patents that have already been granted because they typically have very few words in them. Software companies have to push the boundaries of design patents.

Finally, plant patents are pretty self-explanatory. If you have discovered a new kind of plant through cuttings or other nonsexual means, you can seek a design patent. Typically, plant patents do not cover genetically modified organisms. Determining which type of patent you need to seek will help you when it comes time to actually file the patent.

Write a Simple Business Plan

If you will be starting a business based on your patent, taking the time to write a business plan can be incredibly helpful. A business plan includes a checklist of items that you will need to think about before other people will want to invest in your invention. You should detail how you would like to monetize your inventions and justify all of your expenses in order to protect your invention. The majority of entrepreneurs will need to begin raising capital for their business as soon as possible.

By being able to show how you will make money in detail on paper, you will be able to show potential investors that you are capable of making money in the real world through your product. Your business plan should also address marketing costs, your preferred distribution channel, your manufacturing costs, and the timeframe it will take to implement your plan.

Make Sure Your Patent is Thorough and Complete

One of the most common reasons for patent denials is that claims are written incorrectly. Patents are extremely complicated. There are many different pitfalls that can happen when submitting a patent application. Even if you fail to punctuate your claims correctly, your claims can be rejected. Or, if you do not properly introduce your claims, your application can be rejected.

All of your claims must be directed to the material in the patent, not discussed in the written patent description, or the USPTO will reject your claim. Furthermore, if you use inconsistent terms in your patent, or use terms incorrectly when referencing content, your application could be rejected.

Contact an Experienced Chicago Patent Attorney as Soon as Possible

A patent application is one of the most difficult and complex legal documents. At AU LC, we have helped many clients successfully apply for patents, and we can help you, too. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.