How Do I Patent My Invention?
You can patent your invention by filing a patent application with the Patent Office and having it examined by a patent examiner. If that patent examiner determines that your invention meets the legal requirements, then you will receive a patent.
The Patent Office provides some useful information on the process here at its website.
However, it is much more difficult than this sounds. For starters, the term “application” is misleading because the patent application is a full and complete document written from the ground up (usually). It describes your invention in full and complete terms, and there is little guidance to a layperson if they want to “apply” on their own without the help of a patent attorney or agent.
Once the patent application is filed, you will then need to wait about 12-30 months before hearing back from the patent examiner. And when you do hear back, patent examiners reject about 95% of patent applications right off the bat.
At that point the applicant will need to file a response, and that response can be an amendment of the claims and/or an argument why the examiner is believed to be wrong. The examiner can do any number of things at that time, including allow the application, maintain their first rejection of the application, or withdrawn the first rejection and issue a new rejection. Navigating the USPTO through this process requires an experienced patent attorney or agent.
The entire process can take anywhere between 1 and 6 years, with most applications taking between 2 and 3-1/2 years.
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