Tap to Read ➤

How to Patent an Idea or Product

Narayani Karthik
Applying for a patent is the first thing to do if you have come forth with a new idea regarding a product. Read on to understand the procedure involved.
Patenting is a legal procedure in which a document is made to certify that the sole owner of the idea or product has the absolute and exclusive right to commercially exploit his invention, thereby preventing other inventors and manufacturers from using the same. The document is called a patent.
This concept applies to a technology, the invention of an idea, or a product which can be a composition or a process or a machine, as well. What cannot come under this category are facts, literary and artistic works (as these come under copyright), sounds and pictures (as they come under trademark), and naturally occurring entities.

Things to Consider

Check for Uniqueness

Check for the genuineness of your innovation. This is the first step if you want to patent an invention of yours.
Precisely, determine if your idea is unique and can be implemented as a useful product that can result in commercial success. This is because, as per US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it alone cannot be patented. Its ability to pave the way for an invention is what matters the most.

Document Your Ideas

Documentation is a mandatory process in any field, which is proof for the idea you have. Enter every little detail in your documentation.
This includes a cover page, an outlined approach of your idea-cum-invention, how it works, how it can be manufactured, what all possible market strategies can be adopted for its production, and your claim for the product. Not to miss, include the time of the documentation, as well.
This documentation is proof that it is solely the result of your thought process. Make sure that your documentation, graphs, and charts are notarized and stored safely.

Perform a Patent Search

This is an important step to verify if the idea has not been developed before by anyone else. On the contrary, if at all you come across similar inventions, you can research about the product and propose ideas to modify its features.
Then, you make a brand-new product with modified and better functionalities than the older one. When you go about searching, visit the USPTO website and try to analyze which category would yours fit in.

Creating Prototypes

What is a prototype? It is a rough version of your idea, which will demonstrate the design of your product. The main advantage of having it is that it helps you to identify flaws in your invention and gives you ample time to rectify it. A prototype of your product is a must when applying for a patent or licenses.

Applying for a Patent

Before applying for it, understand that it is of two kinds: provisional and non-provisional. The former offers protection for a limited duration of time. This is not so good option as there is a chance for the idea getting stolen by someone else, once the deadline is crossed.
The non-provisional type, on the other hand, is the one that requires to be filed within a year from the date of a provisional application. Other patents such as utility and design are also available.
First, download the utility patent application from USPTO website and apply for one. In case you are not sure which one to apply for, contact a patent attorney for guidance. And make sure that all the information provided by you about yourself, your background, and your idea are all genuine and certified by notary.

Guidelines to Sell Your Patented Product

These tips will help you out in selling your creative idea:

Compilation of Documentation

When you present your idea-cum-invention before USPTO, make sure that you have all the evidence, pointing towards its exclusive innovation. The USPTO issues a patent, only if your product cites commercial success.

Clear and Crisp Documentation

Be very crisp with your documentation. All your notions regarding how the idea can be transformed into a commercially successful product, how it can be manufactured, and how it can be marketed should be organized and presented in the right flow. Make sure that all pages of your documentation are notarized before the presentation.

Claim for Autochthony

During presentation, vouch for the endemism of your idea. As mentioned, a creative and an exhaustive patent search will help you to understand if yours is solely your creation and has not been thought by anyone else in the past 20 years.

Demonstration of Prototype

Presenting its prototype is the important part of your patent filing process. USPTO will determine the viability of your yet-to-be produced innovation depending on the performance of your prototype.
If you have any creative ideas emerging in your head and want to implement them, make sure that you patent your intellectual property, once your documentation gets over. Also, research well beforehand about the entire procedure to ease things up with it while applying for one.