So, you’ve come up with a great idea for an invention and you want to patent it before it’s discovered by someone else. How can you get started?
In the world of intellectual property, your idea cannot be patented, but your invention certainly can, assuming it is novel.
Many people assume that an idea and an invention are one in the same. But when it comes to patents, an invention is something that is workable, tangible, or the end result and actual product of your initial idea.
To be clear, however, you need not have a “physical product” to receive a patent. Utility patents, for example, can provide legal protection for a unique process or formula. These may seem like “ideas” in nature, but they can be worked out and proven with either a solution or a prototype.
How do I know if I have an idea or invention?
Inventors have an amazing ability to foresee how processes, compounds, or formulas can come together in the future to create something that’s truly new and revolutionary. But just being able to see how a product or process could unfold in the mind’s eye is not the same as working an invention out to completion to where it can be patented. In order to apply for a patent, the applications must disclose with specificity how the invention works, so others can learn from your invention and recreate it.
An experienced patent lawyer will be able to guide an inventor through the process of refining and testing an idea so that it can eventually qualify for a patent. A patent lawyer will also handle the invaluable and often omitted step of conducting a professional search through any prior art that may exist to ensure that the inventor is not wasting his or her time and money developing something that already has patent protection with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
If you have an idea for an invention, consider it the beginning of the process and not the end. Establish a relationship with a patent attorney so that you can work through the steps necessary to bring your ideas into fruition and achieve legal protection from the USPTO. If you’d like our patent attorneys to help you get started, simply contact 888-666-0062 and ask to schedule a free consultation.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.
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