announcement

Share facts or photos of intriguing scientific phenomena.

How to Patent an Invention

Learn How to Patent an Invention With Easy-to-understand Steps

Have invented something brilliant and need to patent it? This post will outline the process for you.
Sujata Iyer
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2019
In the United States Constitution, a patent is described as an intellectual property right which is given to the inventor "to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States" until the invention is made public and for the use of the people.
This right was conferred in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution: "To Promote the Progress of Science and Useful Arts, by Securing for Limited Times to Authors and Inventors the Exclusive Right to their Respective Writings and Discoveries."
Types of Patents
Before we get into how to get a patent on an invention, let us understand the different types of patents.

❖ Design Patents: This patent refers to any original design for an article of manufacture. The design must be new and ornamental.
❖ Utility Patents: This patent is for inventors of a new machine, machine process, manufacturing article or any new process in manufacturing.

❖ Plant Patents: This patent is for those people who have discovered, asexually reproduced or invented a new variety of plant.
How to Patent Your Invention
Follow these steps of the patent filing process.
  • First, make sure that your invention is completely ready and functional. An incomplete invention cannot receive a patent.
  • Once your invention is ready, search for possible similar inventions. You can do this at the official site of the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO).
  • This site provides you with many search facilities that you can browse through to make sure that yours is the only invention of its kind.
  • To search for this probable similarity, you can either hire yourself a lawyer or do it yourself.
  • Once you've completed the search (which is quite a tedious task and must be done thoroughly), the next step is to fill out an application form.
  • Generally, individuals apply for utility patents. So, while filing for utility patents, make sure you have a 'filing strategy'.
  • Determine whether you wish to file the application only in the United States, or globally.
  • For a global filing, you need to apply for International Protection which has been explained in detail by the USPTO on their website.
  • For a utility patent only in the US, you need to decide the type of utility patent. The two types are provisional and non provisional which you can get to know more about on the USPTO website.
  • After the type of patent is decided, choose if you want an expedited examination of your invention.
  • After that, decide in whose name the patent should be filed. You can either get a patent in your own name or in the name of a registered attorney or agent (recommended by the USPTO).
  • Once you've decided everything, go ahead with the online filing from the USPTO site as a registered eFiler.
  • You will receive a customer number and digital certificate on paying the application fees.
  • After that, wait for the USPTO to examine your application.
  • You can check the status of your patent application online.
  • Once cleared, pay the issue fee and publication fee and you will receive the patent.
  • Make sure you pay the required maintenance fee regularly, according to the type of your patent.
This was the basic process for patenting an invention idea. So if you have a marvelous invention of your own, don't waste time. Go and patent it right away and reap the benefits once your invention hits the market.