If you are among thousands of innovators wanting to know how to patent an idea, the answer is NO because patenting an idea is restricted by law. Patents are only awarded for processes, compositions, manufactured articles, inventions and so on. Abstract theories as well as ideas cannot be patented by themselves. This point is always reaffirmed by the United States Supreme Court. Getting a patent requires you coming up with more than just an idea; the idea should be far much greater.
After taking the idea and making it into a prototype, you now have something worth patenting. Attorneys more often than not disagree when it comes to the first key step to be taken. There are attorneys who suggest that it should be documented in the inventor’s notebook while others recommend working on it and developing it. To avoid confusions, it is advisable to seek the attorney’s help when nearing the finished artifact or product. It might take three prototypes or three hundred, you are not certain. After ascertaining that you have something you feel is different, new and nearing completion, talking to an attorney is now appropriate.
Critical in the possibility of getting a patent is the disclosure of the idea or product. Respecting the one-year deadline is also critical to attaining patent; after disclosure of invention to a person with no obligation to hold on it as a secret, US Patent laws expect the invention to be patented within one year. If this period expires without patenting the invention, you automatically lose the patent rights. In other nations, the inventor loses the patent right when he or she discloses invention information to another person before filing a patent application. How to patent an idea is that tricky depending on your country of residence.
Patent attorneys make a few suggestions when first approached by innovators. However, before making any suggestion, a patent attorney should give you an ear of what you have developed, have a glance at it, listen to your ultimate goal or plan and finally discuss the options. Some patent attorneys recommend provisional patent applications to their clients. This provisional application for patent acts as a place-holder which may accrue the inventor early-filing benefits. Some advice their clients to apply for full utility patents while others advice innovators to undertake a search for the purpose of determining whether the invention is prior art barring second-party ownership of patent rights.
In the event that the inventor proceeds with patent application, it is the responsibility of the patent attorney to draft this vital document. Personally drafting the application may render the invention worthless. There are rules which have to be followed in this patent application process which can be best understood by the patent attorney. The attorney works closely with the inventor before filing patent application. This is because any possible variations in the invention have to be factored in the application. When the application matures, the inventor’s signature is required on a number of papers. The patent office will require the inventor to settle various predefined fee payments after which he/she will wait for some time, say two or four years before receiving response from the patent office. How to patent an idea is not as simple as many think, you need to be patient to see it done.