Learn what you need to know on how to get a patent.

If you feel you have a great idea for an invention, it's best for you to get a patent in order keep other people from taking the idea or using it to their advantage.

How to get a patent is relatively easy but it requires a lot of research and patience of on your part. It is well worth it in the end when your invention is fully protected.

Things You Will Need

An invention to patent

Step 1

The first step to take is to visit your local branch of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You can find all the information and forms on their website also if you are unable to get to an office branch. The public library would also have information about how to get a patent.

Step 2

The next step is to prepare a detailed and full proposal of you invention or design. The proposal needs to contain specific descriptions in English as well as detailed drawings. You also need to make a brief declaration that the invention or design is an original, not infringing on any other existing patents. This will require searching through patent lists.

You can also take a look at the article How to Perform a Free Patent Search to help show you how to search patents online.

Step 3

The third step on how to get a patent is to submit all the correct number of copies of the proposal and the declaration to the director o the United States Patent and Trademark Office at the local office or through the internet. There are filing fees that you will need to pay for the search and examination of your proposal.

Step 4

Getting a patent through the United States Patent and Trademark Office can take a while. If all the information in your proposal is accurate and the office has no objections or requested modification, the process should only take about eighteen months. The process could take longer if there are any objections or requested changes. You must address them quickly in order for the process to go through as rapidly as possible.

Step 5

After your go through the steps on how to get a patent, you'll have to pay maintenance fees. They are required at three to four year intervals after the grant date. You usually will have a six month grace period to pay the fees but you can not be late on renewing your patent before the expiration date. Patents usually last for twenty years but design patents, ideas that improve or act in conjunction with another patent, expire after fourteen years.

It's very important to know that if you use terms on your invention such as "patented" or "patent pending" before you apply or even before the patent is granted it's a violation of federal law. Learn more about how to get a patent by talking with a patent attorney.

For more help on getting a patent, I would recommend taking a look at this book: Patent It Yourself, 13th Edition

Tips & Warnings