First thing you need to do is have an idea that is actually going to get you somewhere. If you come up with something, that no one can use, than it's no good to anyone. Come up with something useful and something that everyone can use or will need. That's just common sense.
To get started you need to have photos, drawings or a prototype of what you want to invent. After you contacted a patent lawyer, you will have a meeting and discuss your invention. If you still want to file for a patent, you pay a non-refundable fee to do a patent search. The search takes about 3-10 days. After the search is complete, you will find out if you can proceed with your idea or go back to the drawing board. Not all searches come back positive. If there is an idea close to what you have or if your idea is hazardous it can be rejected.
If you passed the search process and still want to file for a patent, you will work out the details and start from there. After everything is finalized your patent application gets sent off to Arlington, Virginia just outside of Washington D.C. After your application is sent off to Virginia, you are now "Patent Pending". Patent Pending means that you have filed for a patent and have your idea under review.
Being "Patent Pending" means just that, it's "Pending". You may or may not be granted with a Patent! If by some chance you get rejected. You lose all money invested. Yes even after doing the search from the get go, you can still be rejected during the patent process! Just because you pass the search does not mean you will be granted with a patent!
If you get to the point to where everything is going good and you are approved for the patent. You have ONLY 90 days to pay an issue fee to have the patent finalized. If you don't pay within that time, you lose your patent FOREVER! Just getting a patent, is an accomplishment in itself.
The patent process is not an easy process!
Everyone has an idea for something that will make them rich. But most often enough, nothing happens and they let someone else invent it for them, and they are left saying. "Hey that was my idea!" That's right it "WAS" your idea.
If you are serious about filing for a patent, you better be prepared and have your pocket book ready. It's a long and expensive process, but if you do sell it, the reward will be well worth the headache. And yes you will get headaches! There are many more things left to invent. Not all inventions are good ones. It's up to you to decide what the next big thing is. I mean does anyone really need a singing fish on a plaque? But I bet he is sitting pretty from his patent!!
There are so many different ways to go about getting a company interested in your idea. Some cheap, some expensive. You could hire a marketing company, have brochures made, a website, business cards, photos, prototypes, videos, infomercial’s, or even go to trade shows. Find a way that you are comfortable with and stick to it. My suggestion is to have a prototype of your invention to show companies. Drawings are okay and they get your point across, but would you buy something sight unseen? If you don't try your best to sell your patent, then why get a patent in the first place? Unless you are going to manufacturer it yourself. These are just some of the ways to go about getting a patent and getting your idea on the market. It will be costly, you decide when to much is to much. My advise is, no matter how long it takes, DON'T GIVE UP!!
Since patents are government funding, they are tax refundable.
(Your patent process will
vary. Different lawyers have different methods.)
The USPTO receives about 1,000 patent applications a day!!
Fact: Only 3% of all patents make it into production!!!
If you want to find out how to get a patent go to www.uspto.gov
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