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Start Your Business Startup Basics

How to File a Patent

How to File a Patent Credit: Dreamstime.com

If you have created a great new product and you would like to file a patent, there are a few important things you should know. It is extremely easy to file for a patent; however, you still need to think deeply about your patent application before sending it in. While all it may take to obtain a patent is a patent application, how you word the information on your patent application will make a difference when it comes time for your patent to be enforced.

Saving Money by Applying for a Patent Online

You can apply for a patent online through the United States Patent Office and receive a discount from the rate generally applied to paper-processed patents. Their application process is very streamlined and efficient. Simply fill out and turn in the online form with all of the required information. You will need to provide your personal information, as well as a lot of information about the product you would like to patent. Information about your product should include a written description, a drawing of the product, and any other additional information needed. This form can be completely filled out on your own at the patent office website. However, if you have the money, it is recommended that you work with a patent lawyer.

Working with a Patent Attorney

A patent attorney can help you to make the most out of your patent application. As stated earlier, the wording and detail of your patent application have a huge effect on how your patent will later be enforced. Most average, everyday people do not have sufficient knowledge to know how to avoid or take advantage of loopholes in the patent application process. A patent lawyer is well-trained in the process of patent application, and will be able to apply their skills to help you reach your goals. It does require more of an initial investment to hire a patent attorney. However, this investment money will be well spent; hiring a patent lawyer to assist you in crafting your patent application can potentially save you from thousands, or sometimes millions, of dollars in legal fees and patent battles down the road.

Deciding to File a Patent without the Help of an Attorney

Despite these warnings, you may still prefer to file for your patent without the help of an attorney. Many people have filed patents on their own and still had successful applications. If you want to file for a patent without the help of an attorney, make sure you contact the United States Patent Office directly, as they will often provide extra assistance to people unable to be aided by a lawyer. The United States Patent Office also offers a variety of online resources for those wishing to file a patent on their own. Links to these resources, as well as to the patent application itself, can be found in the sources section located below.

Patent Filing Resources