Patenting an invention is a long and expensive process, but it’s worth the cost. A patent gives you the right to stop others from making, using or selling your invention for 20 years. You can get a patent on anything from a new type of machine to a newfangled gadget.
You don’t have to be a brilliant inventor to get a patent, but you do have to have an idea that’s unique and useful enough for someone who doesn’t know about it yet (an “uninformed observer”) to buy it. The more original your idea, the better chance you’ll have of getting a patent.
You can get a provisional patent application (PPA) before you build your invention or spend any money designing or developing it. If your PPA is approved by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), it will last one year before you file an official utility patent application (UPA).
While you’re waiting for your utility patent application to be approved, anyone can copy or improve on your idea. This could make it harder for you to sell the product, so it’s important that you get a UPA as soon as possible. You can also protect your invention by filing for international patents in countries around the world. There are professional patenting agencies like InventHelp, providing invention idea help to inventors, to help you through the process of filing for patents. They’re experts at helping you protect your idea and make it successful.
There are a few different types of patents, and it’s important to know which one is right for you. A utility patent covers the functionality of your invention rather than its design. It lasts for 20 years from the date of filing and protects your idea from being copied.
A design patent protects the way your invention looks. It lasts for 14 years from the date of filing and prevents others from copying its appearance. A provisional patent application is a good first step in protecting your idea, but it only lasts for one year as you can read more on Daily Sundial.
Patents can be confusing, but they’re an important step in protecting your invention. If you’re worried about filing for a patent yourself, consider hiring an agency to help you out.