Skip to comments.Anyone here ever file a patent? Yeah, it's a vanity.
Posted on 12/31/2004 2:45:48 PM PST by rdb3
Okay, FReeps. I have an invention that I want to patent. My questions to those who have filed for a patent are first, did you have any problems doing so, and two, how long did it actually take? Your realistic thoughts are appreciated beforehand.
My questions to those who have filed for a patent are first, did you have any problems doing so, and two, how long did it actually take?
Your realistic thoughts are appreciated beforehand.
I pinged you, Howlin, because of your expertise in matters of law.
It took months and months to get my patent. The *easiest* path is the provisional patent, which lets you stamp "patent pending" on your product for a year while you pursue the full patent.
Read "Patent Pending In 24 Hours" by David Pressman.
What he said!
I'm a patent attorney. Any specific questions?
It usually takes a little while to get a patent application written, but it can take years to actually get a patent after filing the application.
No, but I wish you success.
What happens if I want to patent a process to make patenting faster?
The first year provisional is relatively cheap, but later it costs more and international is major.
You need a patent attorney, and one that knows your field for the patent which may seem a dime a dozen but they don't always know the filed as good as you and claims are weird lawyer legalese.
Best idea is find a good trustable lawyer you can communicate with and that understands you and explains to you and more importantly listens to you and your questions.
And save your money for the fees. The more pages the bigger.
Initially, again, do the provisional where you don't actually have to put in claims. It gives you a year to file final patent and PCT (see www.wipo.org).
Your priority date goes back to the provisional application date so if you want to protect your IP now but aren't ready to file do the provisional.
And save money for fees.
Did I say to save money for fees? Lawyer fees and application fees.
And illustrations and other peripheral information has to be done in specific formats. You will have a chance to correct it if it is wrong, but you may have to shell out for professionals to do it.
Did I mention save money for stuff like this?
Filing the patent is easy.
My job becomes a lot easier. You only have to invent a process for making government employees work efficiently AND quickly. You'd be rich!
Seriously, I can answer any questions you might have about the process, about "provisional" and "non-provisional" and "PCT" patent applications, etc.
How much does a average patent cost all said and done.
Take him up on this.
It really depends on the technology you want to patent. The worst case is probably a complex software invention. A complex software patent application can cost upwards of $10k just for an attorney to write it. It costs around $500-$1k to file a patent application. Then, in most cases, the U.S. Patent Office typically rejects the patent application for one reason or another. Each rejection requires a response, and each response can run up to $1k or $2k. If the Patent Office agrees that you deserve a patent, it can cost another $1k for the Patent Office to "issue" your patent. Overall, it could cost up to $20k.
But, this is the worst case. Simpler inventions would cost less, and there are some things you can do to reduce the cost even further.
One thing I highly recommend is going to www.uspto.gov. Select "Search" under the "Patents" topic on the left hand side of the screen. Then, select "Quick Search" on either the left hand side or the right hand side of the next screen. The left hand side lets you search issued U.S. patents, while the right hand side lets you search pending U.S. patent applications that have not become patents yet. Type in a couple keywords describing your invention, and see if there are any patents or applications that show your invention. This won't guarantee that your invention is new, but it might let you know if someone else has patented the same thing or something similar to your invention.
bump to read later, out of curiosity ...
I've had an idea for a product but don't know what to do with it.
From what I've heard, it's almost a waste of time unless you have the backup/resources to do a lot of R & D, and actually make the product?? There's no way I can do that on my own.
Or should I just file for a trademark for the name I had to go with it, then try to sell the trademark?
Anyway, this should be a very informative thread.
But let me be a bit more specific. The item itself can't be patented. I have idea(s) about a process(es) that would make said item do something very differently. So I guess I'm asking is if I could patent the mechanism(s) that make the item do what I want it to do that's not yet done. Does that make sense? I can rattle off geekspeak like nobody's business. But I don't speak lawyerese.
A provisional patent application is good in that it gives you a year to find out if any company wants to buy your invention. Also, a provisional patent application is usually pretty cheap. It costs between $100-$200 to file it.
Provisional patent applications can take many forms. Sometimes, they look just like real "non-provisional" patent applications. Other times, they are technical specifications written by engineers, or write-ups and drawings done by the inventor. If you choose to do the write-up and drawings, I'd suggest having a patent attorney look over it to make sure everything is OK.
About your specific invention, if the item itself is old, you can patent a process for using the item in a new way. Also, if you have invented a new device for making the item do something new, the device itself may also be patentable.
I think you are talking about a "business process patent" or "method patent".
There are a couple downsides to a provisional patent application.
Basically, the provisional application is only valid for a year, and it is never examined by the U.S. Patent Office (meaning that it can never become a patent). In order to get a patent, you would need to file a "non-provisional" patent application within a year of filing the provisional application. The non-provisional application could eventually become a patent.
In other words, the provisional application just acts as a placeholder and preserves your rights for a year.
Just a general word of advice - in the U.S., you have a year after you publicly disclose an idea to file a patent application. "Publicly disclose" means you disclose your idea to at least one person without some form of confidentiality in place. If you don't file a patent application within that year, you lose your patent rights. But for most of the world, you lose your rights if you don't file an application before publicly disclosing your invention. So, if you hope to get a patent outside the U.S., make sure to file an application (either provisional or non-provisional) before disclosing your idea. Also, you're right, don't disclose much here.
Appreicate the reply. Very imformative. Thanks.
So I should remain silent on the particulars of it until the paperwork is submitted. Will do.
(1) It will either be expensive, or you'll (at best) get a worthless document that any competitor can design around easily. There is a huge difference between a good and a bad patent.
(2) You need to do a business plan before shelling out the money. Is anyone going to pay you to use your method? Be serious about this. I see alot of people get patents that are, in the end, like expensive versions of the vanity license plates on cars. Great ideas, but no business case for it.
(3) I'm not a fan of provisionals. If its all you got the cash for, do one, and that year will give you time to decide if the business case in (2) makes sense to spend more. However, I'm a litigator, and I absolutely love it when the patent asserted against my client stemmed from a provisional. People say all kinds of stupid things in them, because they file them before getting an attorney (or without being willing to pay the attorney to do a good job on it). Everything you say in there can and will be used against you. Worse, if you fail to say enough, that will also be used against you (you have a duty of full disclosure to the PTO). You need GOOD legal counsel if your patent is to have worth.
Also, with provisionals, some people recommend them because you don't have to write claims. I consider that foolish. The claims are what gives you the right to exclude others. They are the operative part of the patent. Problem is, the patent MUST fully support what you plan to claim. So, if you draft your provisional, but don't draft the claims, how do you know if you've properly explained how to do the process you are claiming? It may seem silly, but its a very real problem with some provisionals. They don't support the invention that is eventually claimed, and thus you lose your priority claim to the earlier provisional date.
Anyway, if you do a provisional, don't consider it a rough draft, go at it professionally. Pay now or pay later.
(4) All that said, you can save yoursself lots of money in some ways. Go to the pto website: http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html You can search to see if others have patented similar ideas. You can search both patents, and published applications. You can also do a first draft of the patent application. Print out a couple patents in your field and draft up something with that as a model. Your attorney will still have to spend lots of time fixing it, but fixing a bad first draft is alot cheaper than writing the first draft from scratch (IMHO).
>>>The *easiest* path is the provisional patent, which lets you stamp "patent pending" on your product for a year while you pursue the full patent.
So does a regular utility application. That isn't the advantage of a provisional.
>>>>What happens if I want to patent a process to make patenting faster?
The USPTO has an entire department of people who hunt down and kill inventors like you. They refuse to make the process go faster. They have created a process for "expediting" an application. Problem is, it takes longer to get your application to expedite approved than it would to get your patent.
You want to patent a vanity? :-)
Anyways, I invented an electronic circuit, but I didnt patent it. Rather, I just drew out a rough sketch of it with pen and paper, dated it, and sent it to myself certified mail.
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