|Step 3: Protect your idea in anticipation of receiving one or more patents
Once you know for sure that you are on sound footing in pursuing a patent, there are several things you can do
to protect your interests as soon as possible.
You can file for a Provisional patent application quickly if it does not have claims. Claims are the legally
operable part of a patent application, though other parts of the application (in particular the detailed
description) may be used for purposes of claiming a priority date. The Provisional patent application has a lesser
filing fee than the Utility patent application and will expire if it is not upgraded to a utility patent
application within one (1) year of filing. The Provisional patent application does give the inventor(s) a priority
date and patent pending status this alone is a goal for many inventors.
You can file a Document Disclosure to prove that you came up with an idea on a particular date. This disclosure,
though it does not give the inventor a priority date as does the Provisional patent application, will allow the
inventor a modicum of peace of mind as the PTO will hold on to the disclosure for two (2) years. The importance of
this disclosure is the fact that in the US, the right to an invention lodges in the first person(s) to invent and
not necessarily the first person(s) to file a patent application. The disclosure is only good so long as a patent
application is diligently filed in the PTO, and the inventor makes no public disclosure of the invention.
Go to Step 4
File your patent application(s), track application
progress and keep you informed.
|Did You Know?
There is a time limit on patent protection.
For applications filed on or after June 8, 1995, utility and plant patents are granted for a term which begins with the date of the grant and usually ends 20 years from the date you first applied for the patent subject to the payment of appropriate maintenance fees. Design patents last 14 years from the date you are granted the patent. Note: Patents in force on June 8 and patents issued thereafter on applications filed prior to June 8, 1995 automatically have a term that is the greater of the twenty year term discussed above or seventeen years from the patent grant.
Contact our Patent Lawyer to ensure you complete the patent
filing process correctly or for violation of your patent rights.