A Guide to the Patent Application Process

A Guide to the Patent Application Process


If you have invented something new, you may be wondering how to protect your idea from being copied by others. One way to do this is by obtaining a patent. A patent is a legal document that gives you the exclusive right to make, use, and sell your invention for a certain period of time. In this article, we will guide you through the patent application process.

Step 1: Conduct a Patent Search

Before you start the patent application process, it is important to conduct a patent search to ensure that your invention is unique and not already patented. You can conduct a patent search online on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website or hire a patent attorney to do it for you.

Step 2: Determine the Type of Patent

There are three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. Utility patents are granted for new and useful processes, machines, manufactures, or compositions of matter. Design patents are granted for new, original, and ornamental designs for an article of manufacture. Plant patents are granted for new and distinct varieties of plants that have been asexually reproduced.

Step 3: Prepare the Patent Application

Once you have determined the type of patent you need, you can start preparing the patent application. The patent application should include a detailed description of your invention, including drawings and diagrams if necessary. It should also include a claims section that defines the scope of your invention.

Step 4: File the Patent Application

You can file the patent application online on the USPTO website or by mail. The application fee varies depending on the type of patent and the size of your business.

Step 5: Wait for the Patent Examiner’s Response

After you file the patent application, a patent examiner will review your application and determine whether your invention meets the requirements for a patent. This process can take several years, and the examiner may request additional information or amendments to your application.

Step 6: Obtain the Patent

If the patent examiner determines that your invention meets the requirements for a patent, you will receive a notice of allowance. You will then need to pay the issue fee to obtain the patent.

Obtaining a patent can be a lengthy and complex process, but it is an important step in protecting your invention from being copied by others. By following these steps and working with a patent attorney if necessary, you can increase your chances of obtaining a patent for your invention.