What Are The Steps To Patent An Idea Legally In The United States?


There are several steps to patent an idea legally in the United States. Obtaining a provisional, design, utility, or non provisional patent is a great way to secure exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights on novel inventions. Once obtained, these secure applications protect your idea from competitors that may want to make it their own. As a novel inventor, you should familiarize yourself with the core procedures to effectively draft, file, and prosecute your application with the USPTO. This way, you can secure legal protection for a pre-determined period, increase profits, and level the industry playing field. To help you get started, read on to learn about the steps to patent an idea legally in the United States.

Assess Your Patentability

First and foremost, you want to determine if your invention is patentable in the United States. In order to be granted an application, your idea must be considered useful, novel, and non-obvious. To examine your probability of obtaining a patent, check if your invention has already been disclosed. Of course, you will need an in-depth, detailed patent search to search all previous public disclosures. With a comprehensive patent search report, you can reduce redundant research, eliminate your risk of IP infringement, and gain deeper insights into competitor activity. At the same time, these advanced documents help you accelerate your time to commercialization. Certainly, assessing patentability is an important step to patent an idea legally with the USPTO.

Keep Detailed Records

Next, ensure you keep detailed records regarding your novel idea and the USPTO patent filing process. Document the existence and ownership of your invention from the earliest possible point in time. This way, you can demonstrate the chronologic order of invention development, which will prove you were not copying anybody else. At a minimum, keep detailed sketches, journals, and photographs of your novel idea. In addition, you should maintain a dated journal and voice memos regarding your development process. Even more, digitally timestamped files and video will also help you establish legal claim over your invention. Surely, documenting and keeping detailed records is an important step to patent an idea legally in the United States.

Think About Patent Ownership

Now, you are ready to think about ownership of your novel invention patent application. This involves determining who should have ownership claims and rights over your novel idea. The first step is defining whether you want the patent to be owned by you individually, or by your business organization. To help you evaluate this choice, think about if the invention is related to your career, company resources, or employment agency. In many cases, it is best to claim your patent individually. However, this is only legally feasible if no other investors, inventors, or colleagues were involved with the invention. Indeed, examining ownership requirements is an important step to patent an idea legally in the United States.

Hire An Expert Patent Attorney

At this point, it is time to hire an expert patent attorney to help you obtain your application legally. While it is possible to file an application by yourself, working with a patent attorney is advised for multiple key reasons. Of course, these certified professionals provide vast industry experience, process knowledge, and advanced resources to help you obtain an application. Afterall, they have obtained over 500 patents throughout their time in business. Simultaneously experienced IP attorneys are well-informed, updated with patent law, and sworn to confidential secrecy. Moreover, they prioritize providing inventors the best value for their money. Absolutely, hiring an experienced attorney is a required step to obtain a patent legally in the United States.

Submit Your Patent Application

With the assistance of your attorney, it is finally time to submit your patent application. There are several elements which must be included in your USPTO patent application. For a start, you need the application form, required patent fees, and your data sheet. Simultaneously, you should provide your invention specifications, including drawings, abstracts, and sketches. Moreover, you will also need a formal executed oath or declaration. Definitely, submit your application to patent an idea legally in the United States.

There are several key steps to legally file a patent in the United States of America. First off, assess your idea’s patentability. Next, keep thorough, detailed records throughout the entire patent process. Now, think about ownership requirements, and structure for your application. At this point, it is time to hire a USPTO registered patent attorney. Afterwards, submit your application with the help of your certified agent. Follow the points highlighted above to learn about the steps to patent an idea legally in the United States.

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