Learn how to patent an invention.

You have invented a new product, it's worth protecting. What do you do with it and how do you protect it from being stolen? You need to get a patent.

How to patent an invention is easy by following a few steps.

Things You Will Need

Invention to patent

Step 1

While you're putting your invention together and figuring out how it will work, make sure you keep notes and plenty of documentation about your invention. Save receipts for anything you purchased and all paperwork regarding your invention. Any drawings you make will need to have your name and the date clearly on it.

Step 2

The next step is to visit United States Patent and Trademark Office in your area. They will give you more information as well as the proper forms to fill out. If you can't get to a local branch, you can find all the forms and information online at their website.

Your local library will also have plenty of books containing information about how to patent an invention. For more help I would recommend taking a look at the book: Patent it Yourself, 13th Edition

Step 3

It may be in your best interest to contact a patent attorney that specializes in how to patent an invention. Patent attorney's can be found easily in your local phone book. The attorney will make sure your forms are filled out properly or they will fill them out for you. They can also act as your agent when in comes to dealing with the patent office, especially if there are disputes. They can be quite expensive so think carefully before hiring one.

Step 4

Once you have all your documentation in order, submit the application in to the patent office. They will examine your application to determine your eligibility. It's best to do your own research about other patents beforehand. Anyone can learn how to patent an invention and receive a patent but only if their invention isn't too similar to something already patented. You can easily do a search online to find this information.

For more help on searching a patent take a look at this article How to Perform a Free Patent Search.

Step 5

After your patent is approved, there will be maintenance fees that you have to pay, every three or four years. There are three different types of patents that will determine how long your patent will last. A utility patent, for machines and processes, lasts for twenty years, a design patent, improves or works with another patent, lasts for fourteen years, and a plant patent, production of a new breed of plant, lasts for seventeen years. If you don't renew your patent, it will expire and become public domain.

A patent is a private right to the inventor's property meaning the invention can't be made or sold by other people for that set period of time. Learning how to patent an invention will protect your ideas and inventions.

Tips & Warnings