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An Overview of the Patent Process

by Olufisayo
An Overview of the Patent Process

Do you believe that you may have come up with a new invention, and are trying to figure out if you should patent it? Do you know you want to file for a patent, and are simply wondering what the process will look like?

We have created a simplified overview of what the patent application process looks like. Be prepared for a complex and confusing process, unless you partner with an Orlando patent attorney who will be able to walk you through. Because of the nature of patents, the examiners must be sure that every piece of information is provided properly — without uniformity, they could run the risk of approving patents that overlap existing protections, at which point the system will become a disaster.

Take a look at this process below, and make sure you talk with someone familiar with patent law in Orlando to make sure that you follow the correct steps towards success.

An Overview of the Patent Process

Patent Research

At first, it is extremely important that you research the existing patents to ensure that your invention is truly unique. If you decide to skip this step, you may ultimately find that you have wasted a lot of time and energy if you are denied a patent because of an obvious overlap. In some cases, you will be able to alter your patent to avoid any sort of conflict with existing patents or inventions, but in other cases, you may find that your idea has already been patented.

       

In the event that you find your invention has already been patented, you can decide if you would like to pursue licensing the patent in order to build your business around it, or if you will need to move on entirely.

Application Drafting

After you have determined that your invention truly is unique, then you must begin the arduous process of drafting your application. The applicated is extremely involved, and will require extensive information including sketches, specifications, history, use cases, and more.

In addition to the details about your invention, you will need to draft an entire section for your “claims,” which lay out the protections that the patent will grant you. In order to do this, you will need to illustrate cases that would be an infringement on your patent. This is an essential part of your patent application, because if you need to enforce your legal protections, the claims section will be used to defend your rights.

Submission

Your filing date will play another important role in your application. If your application date comes after another use case has emerged for your invention, you will be denied because of “prior art.” This simply means that your idea was not new, and had already existed somewhere else in the public sphere.

This is why it is extremely important to work with a professional, especially if your invention is time-sensitive and you are racing against a potential competitor.

       

Approval

Once you submit, you will then wait for a final decision from the USPTO. The wait time is notoriously long, although recently the office has cut down on the queues significantly. In 2005, an audit showed that the office still had applications from 2001 that they were working on. Their process has since sped up, but you should still plan on waiting. If you are working with an attorney, they will be able to set your expectations realistically, since this is a process they deal with often.

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