Patenting an invention is a complex process and takes a significant amount of time, effort and patience. Filing a patent application involves several steps such as performing a patent search, gathering the necessary documents and making sure the paperwork is in order. In the United States, patents are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the process of obtaining a patent can be overwhelming for many first time inventors and business owners.

If you have an idea for a product or process and you want to begin the patent process in Chicago, there are quite a few factors you must consider. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of how to get started with a patent pending in Chicago and provide you with necessary information about the process, the different types of patents available, resources for legal help and advice, and more.

What is a Patent?

In general, a patent is a form of legal protection provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for unique products or processes. A patent excludes others from using, making or selling an invention for a period of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application. There are three basic types of patents available in the US: Utility Patents, Design Patents and Plant Patents.

Utility Patents

Utility Patents protect the functionality of an invention, and apply to a wide range of products or processes and cover most inventions, from computer software to medical devices. To qualify for a Utility Patent, the invention must be new, useful, and non-obvious.

Design Patents

Design Patents protect the look of a particular product, and protect the decorative features of an item. The design must be new, and must not be obvious or could easily be created by someone of ordinary skill in the field.

Plant Patents

Plant Patents protect asexually reproduced plants, and can be issued to inventors who have developed a new variety of an asexually reproduced plant that is not found in the wild, and are distinct and stable.

Getting Started With Patent Pending in Chicago

The first step in the patent pending process is to perform a patent search. A patent search helps to determine if your product or process has already been patented by someone else. You can conduct a patent search on the USPTO’s website:

Once you have determined that your invention is eligible for patent protection, it’s time to start the patent pending process. A patent pending application signifies that your invention is awaiting patent approval from the USPTO, and allows you to put the “patent pending” label on the product or process.

The patent pending application must contain the description of the invention, the drawing(s) of the product or process, a claims section that establishes the scope of the invention, the inventor’s name and/or the name of the company filing for the patent, and other necessary information. Filing a patent pending application is complicated and should only be attempted with the help of a registered patent attorney or a qualified patent agent.

Finding the Right Patent Attorney or Agent in Chicago

UpCounsel is a great resource for finding a qualified and reputable patent attorney or agent in Chicago. Whether you need a one-time consultation or an entire freelance legal department, UpCounsel’s network of experienced lawyers has you covered. From small businesses to the Fortune 1000, groundbreaking companies of all sizes trust UpCounsel and its attorney community to provide high quality, cost-effective legal services.

UpCounsel is committed to helping inventors and business owners protect their inventions with the help of experienced attorney. You’ll have access to high quality attorneys on demand, and all of UpCounsel’s attorneys have an average of 14 years of experience. Profiles of our online attorneys display client ratings and reviews of recent work, so you have peace of mind knowing that you are in capable hands.


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