Getting to patent pending from scratch is frustrating and confusing. How do I know? I was in your same situation when I was setting up my will and family trust. I would have appreciated a single place where I could go to learn the fundamentals and the basic strategy. I've done that here in the Learning Resource section.
The first eight sections are designed to help you get to patent pending or patented as soon as possible.
The last section is designed to help you with your trademarks.
Getting to Patent Pending
The first 8 topics in the Learning Resource section include a curated list of articles to help you understand how to get to patent pending and patented.
1. Invention Agreements: These articles introduce the types of agreements you need to protect your invention from others when you tell others about your invention. For example, when you are launching your inventive product, you may need to share your idea with investors, potential licensees, independent contractors and employees. You need to mitigate complications (e.g., inadvertent that might arise as you engage others. The types of agreements that will help to protect your idea include:
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Independent contractor's agreements
- Invention Assignment agreements
- Joint exploitation agreements
2. Protect Inventions: The articles in this section discusses the benefits for protecting your invention and strategies for securing and strengthening patent protection for your invention. For example, the articles discuss:
- Pros and cons of continuation-in-part patent applications
- Nuances of protecting your software invention
- Dangers of marketing your invention before securing patent pending status
- Design patents
- Continuation patent applications
3. Patent Applications: These articles are an introduction to the basics of preparing a patent application. Just the basics. The patent application is an intricate document. The document needs to be simple and clear enough for a jury to understand it. It also needs to be sophisticated and robust enough so that engineers can make and use your invention. This section introduces:
- Anatomy of the patent document, the background, detailed description, claim language and much more
- Writing a broad patent applications
- Pros and cons of design patents
- Importance of defining the invention
- Preparing utility and design patent application drawings
- Claim language
4. Patent Process: In this section, you will find out what happens and what to expect when dealing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. These articles are centered around:
- Novelty searches (i.e., benefits and how-to)
- Overall patent processes
- Manual of Patent Examining Procedures by the USPTO
- Maintenance fees
5. Patent Costs: These articles discusses the costs in terms of realistic budgetary estimates and strategies for minimizing legal costs when patenting your invention. When you are starting to cost your patent legal needs Primarily, the information warns about the dangers of a cheap provisional patent application.
6. Worldwide Patents:These articles cover the basic strategy for protecting your invention overseas. In general, for solo inventors and startups, I'm not a strong advocate for securing patent protection in foreign markets because of the difficulties you need to overcome to make money. However, larger companies with established marketing channels and those that might want to license to a larger company with established marketing channels might consider it desireable for you to have the option for seeking foreign patent protection. These articles discuss the basic strategy for seeking patent protection in foreign countries.
7. Responding to Office Actions: The articles will teach you the arguments for patentability of your invention to convince the examiner to grant you a patent on your invention.
8. Patent Infringement: These articles explains how to avoid infringing other people's patents. When you launch your inventive product, you need to mitigate against theft of your invention by others but also be concerned that you are not infringing on the rights of others and their patent. How do you copy an existing product without infringing on their rights? These are the topics discussed in this section.
9. Trademarks: The articles in this section explains the basics of selecting, search and securing a trademark. The process of securing your trademark is a two step process, namely, searching for prior marks then filing a trademark application to register your mark. These articles discuss the basics of protecting your trademark.