To succeed in today’s business world people put a lot of thought and effort in Innovation. Nowadays, almost every company invests a lot in research work or hire experts who found something new which is commercially viable.
Therefore, it becomes extremely important in today’s world to protect innovations from the eyes of other competitors. The most important tool for doing so is Intellectual property law tools like patents and trademarks.
Few steps are explained below to get your idea or innovated product patent-
Keeping your innovation a secret
Keeping your new invention or newly innovated product is the first step towards securing a patent. Talking about your new invention with someone other than your patent attorney is strictly not advisable. Disclosing anything about your invention can also hamper your prospects of getting a patent internationally in any other country.
Even when you have filed for patent protection, only those people who have signed a confidentiality agreement with you should be told about your invention. You should always remember that without a confidentiality agreement in place or until a patent is actually issued, anyone is free to use your idea without being liable to face any legal charges. Applying for patent protection alone does not provide you with any legal rights over your innovation. Therefore, until you get your patent you need to rely on a confidentiality agreement and keeping it a secret in general to protect your innovation.
Quickly filing the patent application
The second and most important step in getting a patent is to file quickly for it. You should not delay filing your paperwork for the patent as it gives others a chance to publish or file a patent application with regard to the same subject matter before you. Your delay in filing a patent application may cost you losing your patent rights for your invention. Therefore, you should file your patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as soon as possible.
A proper way to do this is to prepare a provisional patent application and file it. This is very beneficial as it establishes a priority date of your invention. The USPTO does not examine the provisional-patent applications but maintains it in secrecy. After filing the first provisional-patent application you can file addition such applications. You can file a non-provisional application for your patent later which will be examined by the USPTO for checking patentability. Cost for getting a provisional-patent application prepared from an Intellectual property attorney is generally very less than getting prepared a non-provisional application. Filing a provisional patent application can help you to promote your product as a ‘patent-pending’ product. This helps in attracting licenses and investors and to fend off copycat competitors.
Patentability search and patentability opinion
Your patent attorney can perform a patentability search and can give you a patentability opinion which will tell you your chances of getting a patent. It is not mandatory to obtain a patentability opinion before filing a patent application but it helps an applicant to decide whether he/she is ready to bear the cost of applying for the patent.
Patentability opinion will help you focus more on elements having considerable patentable weight. In other words, the patentability opinion will help you decide which elements of your innovation you would like to get patent protected in your non-provisional application.
A patent search might not be able to unearth all the prior patented material related to your current work but it would still give you a considerable idea whether your innovation is patentable or not.
Hire a patent attorney
Last but not the least important step in getting a patent is to hire a patent attorney. The process of filing a patent application is complex and sometimes very lengthy. Therefore, it is better to hire a patent attorney who is already familiar with the complexities of the process. It will help you save your time, money and effort in getting your patent.