Getting to patent pending from scratch is frustrating and confusing. How do I know? I've spoken to thousands of inventors over my 17 year career as a patent attorney. This page provides the fundamentals to get patent protection and the basic strategy.
Getting to Patent Pending
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:
2. Protecting Your 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:
- What are the benefits of patent protection?
- What are the pros and cons of filing a continuation-in-part application?
- What are the risks and benefits of securing software patent protection?
- Why you should file a patent application before telling others about the invention?
- How broad patents spread a wide net but are more likely to be invalid?
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.
- How to write a broad patent application?
- What is the anatomy of a patent?
- What are the differences between a provisional and nonprovisional patent application?
- Is a provisional patent application a cheap alternative?
- Why you should avoid disparaging prior art in your patent application?
- Patent Drafting Tip: Alternative embodiments create prior art
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:
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.