Invention patent help can be a good idea if you want to make sure that you'll be able to secure the rights to your invention. An experienced patent attorney can help you through the patent application process so that your patent gets approved and you'll be able to protect your idea.

Getting the Best Patent Help

Applying for a patent requires several steps and can take much more time than many people expect. Getting help from a patent attorney can help you speed up the application process, but before you hire a lawyer, there are a few things you should look for to make sure you choose the right person for the job.

One of the things you should expect from your patent attorney is that they will help you complete your patent paperwork quickly and effectively. Your lawyer should fill out the necessary paperwork and submit it before every deadline. If an attorney delays completing your paperwork, they might not be the right choice for you.

When you hire a patent attorney, they should explain to you each step of the patent process and their plan for completing these steps. This should give you some idea of how long it may take to secure your patent. You should also be certain that you're giving your attorney all the information they need. Withholding information will slow down the patent process and may put your rights to your invention at risk.

A quality attorney should give you regular updates related to your patent application. You should receive notifications of all progress, and your attorney should respond to your communications in a timely manner.

Delays can always occur when applying for a patent, and your attorney should always alert you when a setback occurs. You can tell that a patent attorney is the right person to handle your invention if they contact you frequently and don't hesitate to answer your questions about the patent process.

Help from the Government

Many inventors are unaware of the time, effort, and expense associated with the patent process. Before you even file an application, you need to make sure that your idea isn't similar to a previously registered idea and that your invention is patentable. If you believe that your invention does qualify for a patent, you'll need to fill out an application with the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO). These applications must include a great deal of information about your invention, meaning making an error is easy.

Because the patent application process is so complex, the federal government recommends getting assistance from an attorney. If you're set on submitting your own application, there are several government resources that may help.

Deciding if your invention is eligible for a patent is the first thing you must do. The following types of inventions are patentable:

  • Processes
  • Machines
  • Manufacturing articles
  • Improvements on existing inventions

If your invention is similar or identical to an existing product, patenting your idea usually won't be possible. Inventions also must be non-obvious and novel to be eligible for a patent, which means your invention should not easily occur to someone else. Finally, patentable inventions must be useful. Ideas alone aren't patentable.

Patent applications can be expensive, which is why it's important to perform a prior art search before you spend any money attempting to patent your idea. The USPTO provides a Full-Text and Image Database that you can search to determine if there is any prior art that would prevent you from patenting your invention. Before starting your search, you can view the USPTO's web tutorial to familiarize yourself with the process.

If your prior art search doesn't reveal any conflicts that would interfere with your patent, you can file your application. All patent applications must include a description of the invention, which is known as its specifications. Applications should also include claims about how your invention functions and any drawings necessary to clarify your idea. In your specifications, you should include the following information:

  1. Your invention's title, if it has one.
  2. References to other applications related to your invention.
  3. Names of any parties to the invention.
  4. An invention background.
  5. A summary of your invention and then a detailed description.

If you need invention patent help, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.