Once you have an idea for an invention, you wish to protect your intellectual property so no one else can take credit for what is rightfully yours. To do so, you’ll need to submit an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Before you fill out a request for a patent, you should first make sure your idea meets the requirements for a patent and perform a complete patent search online before you proceed. Once you have concluded that your idea has commercial potential and meets the requirements for a patent, it?s time to start the application process.
In order for the patent prosecution process to enter into a non-provisional patent application must be filed. Once the application is made it is preliminarily reviewed by the Patent Office to determine whether all of the required elements of the application are present.
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There are a number of articles that must be met in full on a patent application: the specification, the abstract, the claims, and the drawings. Your specification is a narrative describing your invention and distinguishing it from any similar inventions currently on the market. Here is where you’ll introduce the heading of your invention, its background, a summary of what your invention will do, and a detailed account of the actual format of the invention itself.
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The claims portion of your file will offer detailed description of everything your invention will cover. Your patent rights are finally determined based on your claims, making this the most significant piece of your application.
Your application must also include drawings to provide a visual of how your invention will work as defined in your claims. In order to obtain an idea of what the USPTO requires and what they’re looking for in the area of your drawings, it is wise to do your research and review other patents of related inventions in your field.
Upon receipt of your application a patent examiner will inspect it to make sure your invention meets patent requirements and that your application follows the strict formatting and language required by the USPTO. From receipt of your request to an agreement over which parts of your invention a patent will covered can take anywhere from 1 to three years, with many new inventors facing rejection on their first patent attempt due to inexperience with the process.