Monday, December 29, 2008

Applying For A Patent

By Mark Huffington

Have you ever thought of getting a patent? Well getting a patent is not as hard as it seems. It is however a long process filled with legal steps that must be followed and it will serve you well to secure the services of a patent lawyer to assist you.

A patent lawyer can do the things that need tobe done quickly. Not all inventions are eligible to be patented. So you will need to check the US Patent office and see if a patent currently exists.

In order to prepare for this you should gather all of your notes and research material. This will be needed later in the process and its best get it done at the beginning. Use this information to determine what type of patent you will need. There are different types based on the type of invention you have and filing the wrong one will only complicate the process.

Once the appropriate form has been completed and all your research and data is gathered, you will need to pay your patent fees. These vary for the different types of patent applications so check the website or call the Patent Office to double check.

Patent fess are non-refundable, whether a patent is approved or declined. However, if you overpay a refund is offered. The time frames for this also vary, so make sure you are clear on the requirements.

When the patent application is filed, it will be assigned to a patent examiner for investigation. They will look at a number of factors before making a decision. They will check for existing patents or anything that could conflict with your idea.

They will determine if your idea is marketable and patent eligible. This process can take up to a year. Remember that it is not unusual for a patent to be turned down a number of times before it is approved.

The process can take a year or more. Do not be discouraged . Many applications fail several times before being approved. You can dispute the denial of your patent and alter your patent application for resubmission.

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