If your product already exists, or is an obvious variant of something that already exists, then your patent will be rejected. A patent search can give you an idea if it is even worth applying for a patent for your invention.
If the patent search comes back clear, you can file a patent application. A provisional patent application will get you patent pending or “Pat. Pend.” status for one (1) year and can provide a basis for foreign patent filings.
A US Patent only protects your invention in the United States. To protect your invention outside of the United States, you will need to file for international protection. We can file an international patent application that covers most foreign countries. We also work with leading law firms in other countries to help you file directly in the countries you need protection in.
Before you take your invention to the next trade show, seek investors, or put your product on social media, you’ll want to make sure you get Patent Pending status. But should you do a patent search, or file for a utility or design patent? What about protecting your invention outside of the US?
A patent search is not required. But it is definitely a good idea. The Patent Office Examiner will reject any patent application for an invention that is identical to –or even an obvious variation of — something that already exists. Patent Applications are filed, and Patents issue, all the time for products that never make it to the market.
Just because you haven’t seen a product like your invention in the marketplace, doesn’t mean that you can get a patent for your invention.
There are a lot of decisions to be made. Understanding your options is critical to making the right decision for your business. For example, you may want to delay a patent search and get a patent application on file if you are concerned someone else may file their own patent application before you, or if you want to take your product to a trade show, an investor presentation, or want to start selling your invention.
A patent attorney can help you navigate these options to help best protect your invention.
File your patent application at the US Patent Office. You can get Patent Pending or “Pat. Pend.” by filing a provisional patent application. After you file your provisional patent application, you will have one (1) year to file a regular (“non-provisional”) utility patent application.
Always work with an attorney. Simple mistakes can cause you to lose rights to patent your invention.
So what’s next?
Let’s talk about your idea