Best Ways to Get a Patent Without a Lawyer
When applying for a patent for a new invention, a number of steps must be taken to ensure that a patent can be secured. This process can be aided by a patent attorney, but such legal assistance can be expensive and generally serves only to help with logistics.
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When applying for a patent for a new invention, a number of steps must be taken to ensure that a patent can be secured. This process can be aided by a patent attorney, but such legal assistance can be expensive and generally serves only to help with logistics. On your own, you should be able to deal with the logistics and follow the appropriate steps to secure a patent, without paying for a lawyer. Here’s a list of ways to ensure that you can get a patent sans attorney.
- Keep invention records
Throughout the process of inventing your new product, keep a detailed record of all the steps. Describe your invention, your ideas, and the steps you took to create it and provide diagrams or even a working model. Be sure to sign and date all records and have witnesses sign their names as well.
- Check patent qualification
You don’t want to go through all the trouble of creating a new product and filing an application only to find out that your invention does not qualify for a patent. Your invention must be completely new, and you must be able to describe or show how it works. Also, it cannot be sold or known about for more than a year before the patent application.
- Do market research
Your invention may be thoroughly documented and may qualify for a patent, but it will not be worth going through the entire process if the product does not sell. You must do research on your potential market, understanding your customers and understanding what sets your product apart from competitors, in order to make the investment of time and money into a patent worthwhile.
- Conduct a patent search
This is the step that a lawyer may be able to help with most, but it is merely research; and you can invest your time in searching to make sure the invention is new. Both U.S. and foreign patents should be searched, and there are online resources as well as libraries to aid in your search. Be sure to have a detailed understanding of other products, as well as your own, to determine whether your invention is unique.
- File your patent application
Once the entire research and development process is complete, file your patent application. You can file either a regular patent application or a cheaper provisional patent application, which allows you to claim patent pending status. It can cost up to $2,000 for a patent application, so working carefully on your own can be very beneficial since you will not have to pay attorney fees on top of application fees.
Source: “You Don’t Need a Lawyer to Get a Patent,” an article on Nolo (www.nolo.com), no author given. Nolo is an online provider of do-it-yourself legal solutions for consumers and business owners and offers resources on its website as well as in a range of publications.