In this article, we will discuss how to get a general patent as there are actually different types of patents that can be obtained.
If you’re an inventor and think you’ve come up with a device that will be in every home for years to come, then maybe you should think about getting a patent for this amazing invention, otherwise you might find that it’s stolen right under your nose.
It is very common to confuse patents with copyrights and trademarks. A patent basically grants the inventor trademark rights for his invention. The actual patent grant reads as follows: “The inventor is granted the right to prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the issuing country, or from importing the invention into that country.” In other words, the inventor has complete control over his invention.
There are 3 types of patents an inventor can obtain. The first is a utility model, which is granted to anyone who invents or discovers a new process or machine. This includes any manufactured item that is an improvement over a similar item. The second is a design patent, which is granted to anyone who invents a new design for a manufactured item. The third patent is called a plant patent and is granted to anyone who invents a new plant species.
In order to obtain a patent for any of the above categories, the inventor must file a patent application. Due to the sensitive nature of patent infringement, these inventors typically hire an attorney to help them secure their patent. These are attorneys who specialize in patent law and know all the ins and outs of the business. If you are an inventor and hire a lawyer for this service, you must expect to pay a very high fee due to the specialty of their service.
If you want to save some money, you should try to go through the process of obtaining a patent yourself. The system itself requires patent examiners to make themselves available to help inventors who do not hire an attorney. If you’re tackling this process without a lawyer, make sure you write down your invention meticulously. This is required to verify that the invention is actually new and original and does not infringe on someone else’s patent.
Read the application questions very carefully to ensure your invention qualifies as an original work, otherwise you may waste a lot of time and money. Even without hiring an attorney, filing fees can be as high as $2,000. In some cases, you may also need to build a prototype of your invention and demonstrate how it works to the patent examiner.
To ensure that your invention is truly original, you must research all current patents. You can do this either online or at the Trademark Depository Library.
Also remember that applying for a patent is a business decision. Even if it’s an original product, you should make sure there’s a market for it before you go through the whole process only to find out that nobody is interested in your invention.