For the average inventor, getting the willpower and drive to patent and manufacture an invention can be a difficult process. There are many obstacles that can frighten the innovator and may cause he or she to put a device, process or concoction somewhere it collects metaphorical dust. It’s no secret that becoming a successful inventor is as challenging – if not more than – as starting your own business. In fact, you may find that you have to start your own business to promote the product. Therefore, you’ll need to have a large monetary base to get your product out.
One place that commands a significant amount of money is the field of patent law. To the novice inventor, the idea of going through the patent application process – including paying the non-refundable fees, obtaining the correct terminology, following the correct rules and making sure that the invention hasn’t been reproduced – can be extremely daunting. Patent lawyers can often help out with this process monumentally. Patent lawyers are available all over the world and can be considered a tremendous investment for the inventor who has deep pockets. However, you may have the next revolutionary machine and not a lot of money to spend to make sure no one else claim it’s theirs. What can you do? The following is a set of steps you can take to avoid having to shell out $5,000 and up for a patent lawyer.
First: Can your invention be protected?
You know what your invention can do. You know how it is similar or different to the products you have seen marketed every day. However, you must be sure that a) it isn’t too close in functionality to another invention and b) that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can legitimately understand why it’s a unique product. In order to do this, you’ll need to do two things. First of all, run a search through the USPTO database to see if other inventions that are closely like yours exist. List how they’re similar and how they’re different. Be sure that when you fill out your patent application, you compare and contrast these inventions to your own and be clear about why yours fills a niche that the others do not. Secondly, learn what different classifications of inventions exist for the USPTO. This will help you fit your invention into a place where regulations exist.
Second: Is your invention modern?
When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, it was revolutionary and it made him a household name. Today, if you were to go to the patent office with a new version of a light bulb that did not improve on his original invention, you may be shot down. Yes, you may have a novel idea, but if it couldn’t be found useful when compared to similar products that exist today, but if the USPTO doesn’t find it modern, then it may reject your application to patent it. The samples of modern invention can be checked at sonilaw.ca. The ideas mentioned at the site are creative and innovative. It will eliminate the need of the lawyers.
Third: Can your invention be commercialized?
You can pretty much tell what a marketable invention is by watching mail order commercials. Things like towels that hold ten times their weight and high-volume vegetable slicers are quick and easy sellers, whose patents were well-earned. If you have an invention you’re proud of, but you’re not sure if it will sell, it may be best to do a little market research. The best place to start with this research is to find what’s called ‘prior art’, which include inventions that are close to yours which you may have improved upon. If your invention doesn’t have enough appeal so that it could potentially grab market share from prior art, then it probably won’t get a patent.
Fourth: Can you fill out the paperwork?
In order to have a patent approved, you must be able to fill out a patent application successfully. This application will require quite a bit of information, including descriptions of the functionality of your invention, why it should be given a patent, and quality drawings of the invention and how it works. Instructions about how to fill out patent applications are widely available in libraries and on the web, so become familiar with USPTO terminology and rules before trying to fill the application out.
Although it can be tough when you first become an inventor to get your product patented, it’s a wonderful experience. Avoid paying for a lawyer and pave your own way to a patent!