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4 Startup Tips To Patent A Product Idea

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startup patent tipsBefore we get into subject, let’s first understand what a patent really is. Precisely, a patent is a legal document granted to the inventor of a new product or idea. The U.S. law claims that any person who invents a new product, process, machine, or any beneficial idea is eligible to obtain a patent.

The main objective of getting a patent is to forestall others from manufacturing or selling the product for 20 years from the date the patent was approved. Have you just invented a new product or idea? Do you feel that it has immense growth potential? If so, then the idea to patent your product or idea should definitely be loitering in your mind.

Who grants the Patent?

To protect inventors from the duplicates of their own products or ideas, the U.S. Congress formulated the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO). Patent applications for products or ideas are filed through the USPTO. Once you’ve filed the application, the USPTO will review your product idea and grant patent rights provided it meets their eligibility criteria.

Essential tips to Patent a Product Idea

1. Basics of filing a patent application

After you’ve formulated your own product idea then the first thing you need to do is “act fast.” Yes, and that’s exactly what Lynn Wilson, Marketing Instructor at the Rogers State University also says. According to him, the first thing new inventors need to do is write a product disclosure and seal the invention date. The court will take this as a legal document and resolve all disputes pertaining to who the actual inventor of the product idea is. Nevertheless the court doesn’t necessarily grant intellectual property rights to the person who has filed the patent. As a person who is going to file the patent, you can either submit the disclosure in any of the two ways: writing or typing. And make sure that the patent application contains all the necessary details of the concept. Though you don’t have to hire an official to file the patent, you should have a witness to read and sign in the disclosure. The witness can either be your friend or colleague. It’s always good to have a copy of the original disclosure in your office cabinet, if an emergency might arise at a later stage.

2. Filing a patent

As per the USPTO guidelines, the inventor of the product or idea can present his or her concept in a narrative write-up, thus he or she is not enforced to stick to the formal editorial rules. Ideally, the content should elaborate the novelties of the overall concept and its benefits and also include some background information. The USPTO will give you a one year protection period during the course of which you can write a formal disclosure. If you are not fully aware of the intricacies of the various steps involved in filing a patent then you can hire an attorney to take your case to the USPTO on your behalf. Typically, the cost it takes to file a patent application ranges from $400 to $1,000. People who hire an attorney need to shell out a few extra bucks as service charges.

3. Look for already patented cases

A patent landscaping is one that deals with similar kinds of intellectual property right issues that have been granted in the past. By exploring similar topics, the possible solutions to the case can be unearthed. If you want to do a self-study on this then you may visit the USPTO website and look for the patent database. One effective way to make your search easier is to use keywords similar to your case and see if they have already been patented or not. Once you find the most closely related case, then you may contrast your product concept with the already claimed ones and zero in on the important aspects of the case. Thus, what you are going to gather at the end of it will most probably be the key points that are going to support your case.

4. Filing the patent claim

Once you have filed your provisional patent with the USPTO, then you need to file your patent application within the next 12 months. The general guidelines may ask you to list out the details of your patent claim, provide background information, and elaborate the value of your invention. You can either submit your patent claim directly to USPTO or hire an expert patent attorney and ask him or her to file the patent on your behalf. USPTO will generate the feedback in one or two years after which you can alter your claims, if required. Once your patent gets approved, then you will be granted intellectual property rights for an indefinite period of 14-20 years.

This article is written by Jem. She is fond of following the latest trends in technology. She is currently working for BuyVerizon – a site that offers savings and current information on Verizon FiOS. If you wish to write for HBB, kindly check this.


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Jem is fond of following the latest trends in technology especially on gadgets, Smartphones, social media, networking, internet and computers.

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    28 Comments

    • pra

      I have a friend who always comes up with new inventions, but never knows what to do from there. This will help him immensely!

    • Shaan

      I am in online marketing for long time but i never thought of it but after reading your article i thought not only me not also every one who have unique concept of business model should file patent for security. Though it is a time consuming process and take lots of procedure but we should go for it. Thanks writing this great article to making us aware this important thing. Thanks once again.

    • Mike Reeson

      This is great info. I have a friend who always comes up with new inventions, but never knows what to do from there. This will help him immensely!

    • Christina

      patent-applied” and move forward with your business plan. However, you still need to be discreet when disclosing information about your invention during this phase

    • Ben Jacklin

      I’ve found patents to be an absolute minefield! Thanks for your tips, I think you should only bother to patent protect if you have an idea you know is a winner, or time and money to spare.

    • Taimoor

      Indeed very useful and explained! 🙂 thank you!

    • Hari Narayan

      Hi Jem! Great and Valuable information that every internet user should read! Really informative. Thanks for sharing this piece of news/article with us!

    • Santosh@travelbuzzpro

      Hi Jem
      Awesome Article thanks fro share it. You’d better to release it as open source but with some key features that will be accessible only for yourself.

    • Vivek@authorland

      Greate Sound
      Be patient, Keep in mind that it may take up to two years or more to receive your patent certificate, and it’s really just the first step to business success.

    • Clarkmartin

      Hi Jem
      Thanks for excellent post. I truly have a great invention! It’s very “green”, costs pennies and reproduce. However, it’s seasonal (one month) and geographically specific. It’s a household necessity. To whom should I trust with this information.

    • Christina Maria

      A new business requires enough capital to buy the required equipment and materials and rent the space for the business to run….

    • Peter

      This is a good step by step guidelines to get your things a patent. Patenting a product is a long procedure but it is required and should be compulsorily done. Thanks for sharing this important information through your posts and helping me learm something new.

    • Paul

      Excellent post! One should definitely patent your product so that other don’t steal your ideas and you get exclusive rights to prevent your product from commercially using your patented invention. This will not only help you to get a stable and strong market position but will also help you to gain higher returns on investments. The tips which you have provided are really beneficial for initial businesses to launch their commercial products in market. Thanks for providing such an informative post.

    • Sandeep Tripathy

      BTW how much will the whole registration thing cost and how complicated is the renewal process? Also can a corporate body get a patent(such as a corporation)?

    • Lauren

      Hello Jem,
      Its really helpful sound, tips for a Product Idea. Actually I used to many anther basic idea & tips for Product but that basic tips & idea’s were just useless. I’m 100% agree with “Filing the patent claim” point actually its right Once you have filed your provisional patent the there is no need to file for a long time something around at least 12 months.

    • Ayan

      helpful post for me, thanks a lot…

    • Aasma

      Patent right is essential for any kind of business, it helps to claim your right over your product and services.

    • andrea

      When you get something patent, is it for lifetime or for some specific time period?

    • Daniel

      Good point and one more think, A new business requires enough capital to buy the required equipment and materials and rent the space for the business to run….

    • Alicia

      It’s a good idea to patent your product if you think it has good commercial value.

    • jodi randle

      Wow! This is awesome! Your tips in patenting are cool and easy to understand. Even those non-business people will surely appreciate this. Very brief but concise. Thanks for sharing such great post!

    • umashankar

      filing a patent in India became so easy, if you know a good CA,CS person.

    • W at Off-Road Finance

      One thing to be aware of is that the utility of a patent is heavily dependent on what you intent to do with it. If you’re unwilling to litigate against infringers (which can be very expensive) then the only thing of value you can do with the patent is sell it.

      Unfortunately the patent system is very unfriendly to the little guy.

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