|Posted on October 2, 2018 at 2:05 AM|
Patents are a scary word and so many misconceptions of the process. Someone even asked me if you have to present your proto type to the USPTO. I laugh, but I was there some years ago and have studied the process before they even had a web-site. I used to have to go and make reservations on the CASIE computer at Georgia Tech to do a patent search. You used books and micro fishe to do your searches and then the computer.
I have developed a series of DVD's for help in that process and filed my own patents and copyrights. The DVD's help because you can pause them and see what is being talked about. They show you how to navigate the web-site and beyond. One misconception I would like to discuss in this article is, what you are actually patenting. You are going to wind up with drawings that refer to page or figure numbers and further designators of each piece or part that are refered to in the description. The parts do not have to be to scale and electronics can be referred by block diagrams unless the part is not common or its detailed parts are your own specific design. For instance, if your product includes a timer, you are not inventing the timer anyone will do so do a block diagram and call it timer inside the block diagram.
The most important things to remember is original, relevant and usable. these are mentioned in the introductive area of the site. You as an individual will click on the tab that says individual inventor or Provisional Patent. A provisional patent gives you a full year to present or disclose your product with first to file protection from the US Patent Office. You are actually patenting the function of your device if it is as big as a ship or as small as a pen. How the function of your device is different from all other products in it's catagory.
There is endless help in filling out the papers you have to send. Then what you receive you have to fill out mail back in then then wait on a customer number, then an e-mail etc. The patent office will help you fill out the papers, but no advice on legal or the product itself can or will be given. The biggest surprise I get from people is the cost of a provisional patent; sixty five dollars USD. At the end of the year you will pay 650.00m to make it non-provisional and will become a patent pending status. It usually takes up to five years for a patent to become final. These rules and prices change periodically so keep up. This is just an overview of some facts that I have found working with people that they were most confused about! If you can afford a patent attorney get one and do as much of the development as you can.