|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?
Your invention may already be patented.
Public users may perform preliminary searches of patent information in a variety of formats including on-line, microfilm, and print at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Public Search Facility located in Alexandria, VA. State of the art computer workstations provide automated searching of patents issued from 1790 to the current week of issue. Full document text may be searched on U.S. patents issued since 1971 and OCR text from 1920 to 1970. U.S. patent images from 1790 to the present may be retrieved for viewing or printing. Some foreign patent documents are available.
Contact our Patent Lawyer to ensure you complete the patent
filing process correctly or for violation of your patent rights.