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Preparing for a Utility Patent Application

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2023 | Patent Law

The process of preparing a utility patent is often labor-intensive. Nonetheless, owning a non-provisional or utility patent can be incredibly lucrative. Successful patent applicants will hold the patent for up to 20 years. The holder of a utility patent has the exclusive right to utilize and produce the product, process, or machine he or she patents. A utility patent gives the applicant the right to prohibit other people from copying your invention, process, or product.

The first step in applying for a utility patent is often enlisting a skilled patent attorney. AtAU LLC, our experienced patent attorneys help our clients submit effective patent applications. We make the utility patent process as painless as possible for our clients. Contact our Chicago law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

What is a Utility Patent?

A patent is a kind of property right that gives the patent holder a right to exclude other people from using, selling, or making their product. Utility patents protect “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.” Design patent applications only require a drawing of the design with limited text.

Utility patents, on the other hand, require a thorough written explanation as to how the invention works. The application should also describe any alternative ways to make the invention. Descriptions should include enough details that another person working in the same technical field could reproduce the results readily.

Thorough Preparation is Essential to Successfully Filing a Utility Patent

The first step to preparing a utility patent is to get a firm grasp of your invention. Draw your prototype and take a few days to analyze the drawing and think about anything you may need to change. Attempt to write out a detailed description of your product or process. Imagine that you are explaining your product or process to another person in your industry. Try to anticipate any questions another inventor in your field might ask and record the answers.

Your notes can help you share your vision when meeting with an experienced Chicago utility patent attorney. Applicants are more likely to file a successful patent application when they become experts on their product, it is a category, and relevant corresponding prior art.

Make Sure That Your Product or Process Meets the Novelty Requirement

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) only grants utility patents for inventions that are novel. Inventions are novel when they are different than the prior art. Prior art refers to other products in the marketplace. Prior art is an idea or invention that someone else has already made available to the public. Prior art also includes patent applications filed before the current application. Evidence must show that the product or process was publicly disclosed or publicly available. Prior art can consist of any of the following:

  • Commercial use of the invention, product, or process
  • The invention has been available for sale
  • Journals, publications, or articles that discuss the product or process
  • A demonstration or public knowledge of the use of the invention
  • A patent application that another person previously filed that eventually became an issued patent or published application

Determine the Correct Classification of Your Invention

The USPTO employs a classification system to organize patents. Applicants need to classify their inventions correctly. When applicants do not adequately classify their inventions, the USPTO may deny their application as a result. The skilled patent attorneys atAU LLC can help you determine the proper classification and subclassification for your invention.

Conduct a Utility Patent Search

Conducting a prior art patent search is crucial to file a utility patent application successfully. It is better to discover that your invention is not novel early in the process to avoid the costs associated with filing a utility patent. Utility patent applicants can search for prior art online using Google Patent Search, which allows applicants to search for patents via category and keywords.

Inventors can also utilize the USPTO’s Public Patent Application Information Retrieval to search for existing or filed patents. While inventors can conduct a prior art search online, it is wise to seek the counsel of a skilled patent attorney. Successful prior art searches are complex and require nuance. A competent patent attorney can assist you in completing a more thorough search. Nonetheless, conducting basic searches can help applicants focus on the truly unique aspects of their invention.

Ensure Your Utility Patent Meets the Formal Requirements

Utility patents are the most commonly issued types of patents. Despite their prevalence, utility patents require the lengthly, detailed application of a formal nature. Utility patents must include several sections. Each section has unique formatting rules. The USPTO will only approve patent applications when the application contains a thorough explanation of how the product or process works.

Utility patents must begin with a brief abstract, which is a summary of the invention. It should then include drawings of the products if necessary for understanding the product or process. The application must consist of a descriptive specification and end with a listing of numbered claims. The description must include a written description, an enablement requirement that would allow another person to replicate the invention and a summary of the best approach to practicing the invention.

The application should also thoroughly discuss alternative ways to create the invention. The description must provide enough specific information that another person in the same scientific or technical field could easily reproduce the novel product or process. In sum, the applicant must teach others about the invention.

The Attorneys atAU LLC Can Assist You in Filing a Utility Patent

The requirements for successful utility patents are complex and rigorous. Hiring a patent attorney can save you time and money. AtAU LLC, our skilled utility patent attorneys approach every patent application with a fresh perspective.

We work hard to exceed the expectations of our clients and maintain a business-like perspective when it comes to financing. Our attorneys put our entrepreneurial and technical experience to use. Though located in Chicago, our firm represents clients throughout the United States. Contact our business law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.