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US Patent Application Process

Updated:2018-5-14 15:21:02    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:325

US patent application is one way to protect your intellectual property rights in the United States. A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process. Patents are a form of intellectual property. The following is an overview of US patent process.

Step 1: Determine the type of Intellectual Property protection that you need
To protect your invention, you may need a patent, trademark, copyright, marketing plan, trade secrets, or some combination of these. Before you begin preparing a patent application, find out if you really need a patent or some other form of Intellectual Property protection.

Step 2: Determine if your invention is patentable
To determine if you can patent your invention, you will need to know the answers to a few simple questions:

Who can apply for a patent?
What can and cannot be patented?
How do I know if my invention is patentable?
How long does patent protection last?
How much does it cost to get a patent?

You cannot get a patent if your invention has already been publicly disclosed. Therefore, a search of all previous public disclosures should be conducted. A search of foreign patents and printed publications should also be conducted.

Step 3: What kind of patent do you need?
There are three types of patents - Utility, Design, and Plant.
(1) Utility Patent: may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or compositions of matters, or any new useful improvement thereof. By far, most patent applications filed at the USPTO are utility applications.
(2) Design patent: may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
(3) Plant patent: may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

Step 4: Get ready to apply
Once you have determined the type of Patent that you need, you can consider your application strategy and whether to use professional legal services.

Inventors may prepare their own applications and file them in the USPTO and conduct the proceedings themselves, but unless they are familiar with these matters or study them in detail, they may get into considerable difficulty. Most inventors employ the services of registered patent attorneys or patent agents.

Step 5: Prepare and submit your initial application
Submit your initial application with all the required parts needed for obtaining a filing date and include the correct fee.
Parts of Application to be filed together;
Application number, filing date, and completion of application;
Patent Application Filing Fees;
Payment of Fees;
Required Filing Fees.

Step 6: Work with your examiner
Once your application has been accepted as complete, it will be assigned for examination. Your examiner will review the contents of the application to determine if the application meets the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 111(a).

Step 7: Receive your approval
If the examiner determines that your application is in satisfactory condition and meets the requirements, you will receive a Notice of Allowance.

Step 8: Maintain your patent
Maintenance fees are required to maintain a patent in force beyond 4, 8, and 12 years after the issue date for utility and reissue utility patents. If the maintenance fee and any applicable surcharge are not paid in a timely manner, the patent will expire.

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