What is a Patent?
Simply put, a patent is a property right that you have in your creation. This right forbids anyone else from making or using an invention just like yours which lasts for up to twenty years. If someone else or some other company uses your invention during that time, you have the right to sue them. Without a patent, you risk losing not only your invention, but also any compensation related to your hard work.
There are four types of patents:
- Utility – specific function invention which is the most common type of patent
- Design – this covers the non-functional parts like the shape or other design elements
- Plant – protects all types of plants including flowers and vegetables that you have created or discovered
- Software – protects software you have created and designed
Steps to Take to File a Patent
Filing a patent is not always the easiest of things to do as there are a variety of documents and actions that must be taken.
- Document your process – When you file for a patent, you have to show your work, just like in math class. You need to be able to show how you created your invention from start to finish.
- Build your invention – To get a patent, you must have an item and not merely just an idea.
- Hire a patent lawyer – It’s not advisable to try and file a patent on your own. Using the services of a trusted patent lawyer will give you peace of mind that your invention is properly protected.
- Submit a provisional application – A provisional application is like a placeholder, setting your place in line that you have an invention you want to protect, but you need time to finish the application.
- File the application – A patent application is a complex document with many parts. It includes: background information on your invention; a summary of the invention; detailed descriptions, pictures, and renderings of your invention; and a description of the advantages of your invention.
Protecting Your Invention
A patent is an important legal right to your invention. Without it, your invention could be stolen and used without compensation to you, the rightful owner. This is why it’s so important to make sure your patent is filed correctly. Messing this up could cost you more than just time and money – it could cost you your invention. This is something you must have handled by someone you trust.