Creativity and innovation form the lifeblood of human progress. They’re the driving force behind countless inventions, each playing a vehicle role in moving society forward. But every innovation deserves its due credit and protection. That’s where patents come into play.
What are patents? A patent is a legal right granted by the government to an inventor or their assignee to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing an invention for a certain period, typically 20 years. This provides the inventor an exclusive right to monetize their invention and recover developmental costs.
The purpose of patents is not only to safeguard the creator’s rights but to promote the progression of science and technology. They provide an incentive for others to innovate and improve upon existing inventions.
Types of Patents
There are three primary types of patents:
- Utility Patents: These include any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter. It’s the most common patent and covers new inventions or significant improvements on existing ones.
- Design Patents: They cover new, original, and ornamental designs for a product.
- Plant Patents: These are for inventing or discovering, and asexually reproducing a distinct and new variety of plant.
The Patenting Process
How does the patenting process work? Though the patenting process can be complex and intensive, it’s built to ensure that only unique and non-obvious inventions get patented. It typically follows these stages:
The inventor prepares a detailed description of the invention, including drawings and an explanation of the invention’s novelty. It’s crucial that an invention not be disclosed publicly prior to patent filing to avoid jeopardizing patent rights.
Filing the patent application begins with determining the type of application you’re filing (provisional/non-provisional) and ensuring all necessary forms are included. Your application is then sent to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or relevant patent office in your country.
The patent office examines the substance of your application. Patent Examiners search prior patents, publications, and other resources to ensure the invention is novel, non-obvious, and adequately described.
If the invention meets all requirements, the patent is granted, providing protection for your invention under patent law.
If individuals or first-time inventors find the process intimidating, companies like InventHelp can assist them. InventHelp has decades of experience helping everyday inventors patent and market their inventions. They can provide resources for patent submissions, inventor services and more.
Patents are a powerful tool for innovators, providing crucial protection for an invention while also stimulating further innovation. Though the patenting process can be complex, seeking expert help from companies like InventHelp can ensure a smoother and more successful journey. Whether you’re a seasoned inventor or a creative individual with a unique idea, understanding patents and the patenting process is a vital part of your invention process.