If you have an invention you would like to protect then it is a good idea to learn how to get a US provisional patent. Obviously, every invention is different and there is no standard patent filing timeline but the process is typical. The following is a procedure you can follow when patenting an idea and commercializing it.
1. Patent Search
A patent search and simple Google search is the first thing you need to do. Use as many different keyword combinations as possible to see whether anyone else has invented the same idea as yours. If someone else has already done so, you should not waste any money and time attempting to patent it. If you do not find a similar invention or your invention is a bit different from what is already out there, move on to the next step.
2. Market Research
Ensure that your idea is more than simply a neat invention. Ensure that there are clients willing to pay for the use of your invention or license or buy your patent rights. In case the market is too small or the invention has little demand, it may not make business sense to invest your money and time patenting it. If there is large market demand then move on to the next step.
3. Preparing & Filing A Provisional Patent
Filing a patent is an important step that you have to do online at the USPTO.gov website. The website outlines all the basic information you need to prepare and file the provisional patent. Once you have prepared and filed the provisional patent, you can move on to the next step.
4. Selling The Product Or Pitching The Idea To Investors
Once you have filed your provisional patent application, you can now start using the term Patent Pending and start selling the product or pitching the idea to investors. Once you get US provisional patent remember that it is valid for a period of 12 months thus you need to use this time wisely. Once the 12 months are up you should move to the next step.
5. Filing The Non-Provisional Patent Application
The non-provisional patent application will cost you thousands of dollars so you should have attracted some investors or made some money by now to help you with these costs.
6. Making Money
There are many ways to make money from your patent application before it is granted. You could:
– Sell the patent rights to a different party
– Sell the product as patent pending
– License the patent rights to a different party
7. Getting An Allowed Patent With A Patent Number
Prosecute the patent at the USPTO and get an allowed patent with a patent number. Now, you can use the patent to sue any party that attempts to copy your idea and prevent them from competing with you.
In conclusion, this has been a very rough example of how to protect your new idea or invention using a patent as well as the process of filing the patent. Different business conditions and technologies dictate the best approach and strategy for protecting your idea and ultimately making some money from it.