Filing For A Patent: A Guide For Newby Inventors

After some careful thought and creativity, you have managed to come up with a fascinating new product or idea that you know will be greatly valued by many different consumers. The only problem is, before you get a patent on your new product or idea, another creative thinker just like you could swoop in and take your idea right out from under you, beating you to the imaginary marketing finish line. However, even if you have no shortage of imagination or brilliant ideas, what you may have a shortage of is knowledge about the process of obtaining a patent. Here are a few of the most common questions new inventors have about obtaining a patent.

What exactly does patent pending mean?

It is a common misconception among amateur inventors that patent pending means that you have actually applied for a patent and you are just waiting for approval. However, patent pending actually means something completely different. If a patent is pending, it basically means that an inventor has applied for a provisional patent, or PPA. This is a temporary form of protection, up to 12 months actually, for a new inventor who wants to shop for a manufacturer before actually going through with the full-on patent application process, which can be time consuming.

Do you have to hire a patent attorney to apply for a patent?

You could always forego hiring a patent attorney when you are in the process of finalizing your product or service, as it is not a requirement, but it is never really a good idea to do so. Filing for a patent can get to be a very time-consuming and complicated process, especially if your product is similar to something already on the market. An attorney who is much more familiar with the whole patent application process will take on the brunt of this responsibility so your hands can be free to focus on furthering your product development.

How long will it take to get a patent after applying?

It can take some time to finally obtain a patent for a new invention and the time frame can vary depending on the product in question. However, in general terms the patent will take at least 12 months, possibly even more than 18. Therefore, you should expect to wait. If you have a patent attorney on your team, it is less likely that you will run into problems after filing, since these should have been addressed beforehand.

You may have everything figured out in your mind when it comes to your new invention, but getting a new product from design to store shelves can be a trying experience. Talk to a patent attorney for more guidance and information about making the process as seamless as possible.