Do you want to know if your invention can or should be patented?
Are you leery of patent search organizations running commercials in the middle of the night?
Do you get the feeling that they are just trying to capitalize on the dreams and innovations of others?
Do they sound a bit like shysters?
Protect your idea for a little while longer and do some of the research yourself. You will learn a lot about the value of your idea and whether others have been there before you.
Visit www.uspto.gov and begin with a “patent search”.
This research step will be necessary to determine that no one else has invented anything like yours before. What you will do is study any patents that have been issued for products similar to yours.
You may discover that someone has had your idea and patented it before you even thought of it.
You may find that someone tried to do what you have done, but they fell short of your design.
In the process you should define what information would be required to file your own patent application.
Visit USPTO.gov and do a “patent search”.
* Identify the type of patent you will be seeking. A utility patent covers the functional aspects of an invention, while a design patent only covers the appearance of an invention.
* Access the online patent database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).
* Read the class descriptions in the database to see which are relevant to your idea.
* Determine the most relevant classes and subclasses for your invention.
* Perform comprehensive keyword searches for your potential invention. Leave no stone unturned. Keywords should every possible descriptor of your invention.
* Review patents issued within those classes that contain your keywords.
The patent search process can be tedious and exhaustive, as well as exhausting.
* Assemble your search results into a report that can be readily referenced. Using a table or spreadsheet, track the patent numbers, abstracts and any pertinent claims that relate to your invention.
If at any time these steps begin to dissuade you from your dream of patenting the world’s best invention – there are patent service organizations that will do all this work for you.
It’s your choice. Pay their fee and hope they understand what you’ve created.
Or research what others have done, learn from their approach and dignify your invention with your own research and deeper knowledge of its value.
An exhaustive patent search will establish what has been tried before – against which you will pitch why your invention is better, different, more needed, etc. The results of your research can form a basis from which your patent application is created.
You can then prepare the patent application. This is a project you will understand very clearly once you have done a thorough patent search. You may need to return to the patent search process many times as you draft your patent application.
If you’d rather hire someone to help you or to write it for you – you can find freelance writers to write the patent application (less pricey than an attorney) as well as freelance patent lawyers on Elance when you are ready to file.