A patent provides the inventors, exclusive legal rights on their inventions. It acts as a barrier to the entry of competitors and provides the inventor an opportunity to gain higher profits from manufacturing, selling, exporting or licensing his invention, for a pre-determined period of time.
Patenting is a lengthy and cumbersome process. It is essential to determine the worthiness of the patent and idea, before you start the process of patent application. The invention should have high market demand and usability, in order to outweigh the high costs of patenting. Once you are confident that your invention is worth patenting, you have to know about the different types of patents.
There are three types of patents currently granted to the inventors. Knowing which type of patent is suitable for your invention is essential to go about the process of patenting. Utility patents, design patents and plant patents are the three different varieties of patents granted by the patent office.
The process of registering for a patent is time consuming and complicated. You can hire a patent attorney or a patent agent to guide you through the process. The patent application process consists of the following steps.
- Clear description of the invention along with the declaration that it is the original work of the inventor or the company filing the patent.
- Technical drawings, 3D images, 3D models and working prototype of the invention.
- Filing fee
- The company or inventors claims of exclusivity of the invention. These claims have to be defined very carefully as they define the boundaries of exclusive rights provided to the inventor.
- A patent search describing similar patents in the country or other parts of the world and a clear description about how your invention is unique and different from all of them.
Once the application for patent and idea are submitted to the patent office, it might take a few years to receive the patent. In the meanwhile, you can start the marketing of your product, with a patent pending status. Using the patent pending status discourages competitors from bringing similar products into the market, as they fear litigation of patent infringement.