Applying for a patent is a slow and painful process. The patent application process is very complicated and costly. Many first time inventors find this task to be challenging to say the least.
The process of filing for a patent has many stages like preparing the patent application, providing details about the invention, creating a prototype, conducting patent search and finally filing the application along with the fees. Before you start the process, here are some important questions to ask yourself.
Is the invention patent worthy?
The first question to answer is whether your invention is worthy of a patent. Conduct a detailed market research to know about your ideas marketability. Note down what features of your invention, set it apart from other products or services already available in the market. Also consider, whether your invention can still be profitable after the long waiting time required for getting the patent.
Does the invention qualifies for a patent?
An invention has to be new, unique and useful to qualify for patent registration. The product or service, has to be new and it should not be already available in the market. There should be no pending patent applications, publications, videos or books about the product or service. The invention must be useful in real life scenario. The invention must be unique and different from the already existing products.
What type of patent is suitable for the invention?
There are three different patents granted by the USPTO. They are design patent, utility patent and plant patent. Utility patent is the most common patent granted for functional products such as houseware items, cosmetics, software technologies, biotechnology products and so on. Design patents protect the look and feel of a product while plant patents are granted for hybridized plants.
Is there any existing patent for similar products?
You have to conduct a patent search to identify any existing patents in the US or other countries. You can search the website of the USPTO or use other free or paid patent search tools to conduct the search. You can get patent information form trade and scientific journals.