Applying for a business patent is an engaging process that could take you and your company to the next level of success. While the application process for getting a U.S. patent is complex, the investment is well worth your time. Following these steps can help you to avoid the rejection of your business patent idea.
Research Existing Patents
The first step in applying for a business patent is visiting the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and making sure that your product or idea is not already patented. You cannot apply for a patent on an idea that has already been patented by someone else. The archives of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office go back decades, and the research process could take a while.
Determining the Type of Patent You Need
There are three primary types of patents that could apply to your business and idea. Utility patents refer to a specific invention that you have made. Design patents are related to the unique shape or surface of an item and are strictly non-functional. A plant patent is for the asexual reproduction of a plant.
In the United States, patent law provides you with personal and financial protections for your ideas or inventions. Some businesses, like Thompson Patent Law, know that United States patent laws are upheld and examined by the patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This agency offers assistance to patent applicants and helps to ensure that every patent application is for a unique idea or product and that the product is described in full detail.
Documentation for Your Patent
To file your request for a patent, you will need to submit a formal application. The application will include an abstract, background on the problem that your idea solves, a summary of the idea, a detailed description of the idea or product, specifications on how to use the product and the scope and ramifications of your idea. The application must also include a title, drawings or figures that are labeled and cross references to other patented products.
Applying for a business patent costs about $1,500 in fees and takes one to three years, explains the Nolo website. However, if you have a revolutionary idea, this small investment of money and time could be a wonderful return on investment. You will need to follow the required steps exactly, understand patent law and consider working with an attorney to ensure that your patent application process goes as smoothly as possible.