Do you have an excellent idea for an invention and are thinking about getting a patent? You know could change the lives of millions with your design. If so, it’s crucial that you understand how getting a patent can change your life too.
In this article, I will break down the process, such as telling you what is a patent, how to patent an idea, and more. What are you waiting for? Learn how to protect your ideas and inventions by applying for a patent through the USPTO.
How Getting a Patent Can Change Your Life
So, you have an excellent idea that you’re positive can change the lives of millions of people. You have created a new product that is practically the best thing since sliced bread. Now, you’re ready to release your groundbreaking creation to the world, right? Wrong! First, you need to understand why getting a patent is one of the most critical business investments of your lifetime.
Getting a patent is the first step to securing the wealth that is sure to come from your new idea. A patent will guarantee that no one can steal your idea and outproduce or outsell you using your own invention. Getting a patent is the only way you can protect yourself in this manner. Applying for a patent will make it impossible for anyone to claim your invention as their own.
What is a Patent Exactly, Anyway?
Patent Definition: a sort of license or copyright issued by the government to protect your product or invention. A patent will legally exclude others from using, selling, or copying your product or invention for a certain length of time. Typical patents last between 14 and 20 years. And paying the regular fees are required in order to keep your patent up to date.
Related: What you need to know about Intellectual Property Rights
Types of Patents
In the United States there are three main types of patents:
This form of patent makes up the majority of all patents filed in the United States. The utility patent covers a wide variety of inventions, including new products, machines, processes, compositions, and more. Basically, anything beneficial to people that can be manufactured falls under this category. As long as you hold this type of patent, others are prohibited from manufacturing, distributing, or otherwise using your invention. Utility patents are good for 20 years. However, in some cases, they are even extendable to offer protection even longer.
Unlike the utility patent, the design patent does not protect the functionality or use of a product or invention. This form of patent protects the actual aesthetic aspects. This includes design, shape, or other unique features of appearance. Much easier to obtain, though offering much less protection, normally only a drawing and a basic description are required. A design patent is typically good for 14 years.
A patent designed for creators of new plant types including unique hybrids. More plant patents are issued for new roses than for anything else. Barely over 1,000 people file for this type of patent each year. A plant patent comes with 20 years of feeless upkeep. This type of patent came about after World War II in order to protect growers with new species of plants.
How to Patent an Idea and Make Tons of Cash
Obtaining a patent can be a pretty simple thing to do in most cases. First of all, you need to double check that someone hasn’t already filed a similar patent. You can do this by searching online as well as by visiting a Patent and Trademark Depository Library in person. Research the potential commercial value, or market value, of your invention.
Second, you need to be able to describe your invention in great detail. The more detail, the better. Record each step that you took in order to create your invention, from the inception of the idea to the actual physical creation. The more you include, the better chance you have of proving that it’s an original idea.
Once you’ve taken care of these crucial aspects, use this information to file an application through the USPTO. There are two types of applications that you may want to consider. A provisional patent application, or PPA, allows you to claim patent pending status until you are able to file a regular patent application. A PPA will cost you anywhere from $65 to $260. You will also need a drawing and all of the details on how it works.
An RPA takes a bit more effort (not to mention a $1,500.00 fee) in order to properly file an RPA and start the actual examination process. You will need a detailed drawing, details on how it works, and documentation like photos or video of the actual invention itself.
You can file for a patent electronically by visiting here and submitting an application online today.
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What is the USPTO?
USPTO is an acronym for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This is the federal agency responsible for registering patents and trademarks in the United States. The USPTO is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Millions of Americans are impacted by the USPTO and its protection and promotion of new inventions annually.
The USPTO supports the U.S. economy by ensuring the fair trademarking of products and advising the government regarding intellectual property. To date, the USPTO has issued over 8 million patents since its creation.
Want more information about the USPTO? Do you have questions concerning patents, trademarks, or copyrights? Call 1-800-786-9199 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Don’t Miss out on Millions
The next multi-million dollar idea is just around the corner. Or, the way to get the cash that frees up your time to do the things you love. It could be that idea you’ve been brainstorming. Maybe you think its such an obvious idea for an invention that surely a patent already exists. Don’t let someone beat you to the patent office with an idea you’ve been working out in your head for years!
Write your invention ideas down. Tinker with them a bit and see where they lead. Draw them out, trying different approaches. Research online or poke around in person. Find out if anything similar is already on the market or has had a patent filed yet.
Summing it All Up
Thousands of people end up getting a patent in the United States each year. Many of them have brought about empires worth billions. In the past few decades, such popular ideas as SuperSoaker squirt guns and Beanie Babies made their patent owners filthy rich. On the technological side, Dropbox file organizer, GoPro camera harnesses, Square card readers, and other inventions have done the same.
If you have an original idea, don’t count yourself out for the millions. First, look into patents and see if something similar already exists. Next, work on developing your idea into something amazing and filing for a utility patent. If you find a utility patent already exists, there is still hope for you to profit from your idea. Consider coming up with a new aesthetic appearance for the product and filing for a design patent instead.
Like anything else good in life, it will require hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck. With millions of patents filed over the years, many of them brought their owners wealth beyond their wildest dreams. Make sure that your idea is something that could benefit hundreds of thousands of people before moving forward with getting a patent.
Featured Image: CC by 0, by ArtsyBee, via Pixabay
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