If you have a great idea and are worried that somebody else might steal it or beat you to the marketplace, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with how to get a US provisional patent. In most instances, filing the provisional patent application is the first step towards protecting your invention before you even tell anyone else about it.
Filing a provisional patent application involves 3 steps.
1. Conducting A Patent Search
Spend some time doing a search for patents related to your idea. The patent search is important for the following reasons:
– You can use already issued patents related to your invention as a template or guide for writing your own patent application.
– The patent search will inform you on the people already working in this space.
– It will inform you whether another person has already patented your idea.
You can conduct the patent search online at the USPTO website or at such places as Google patents.
2. Writing Your Patent Application
This is the most difficult and time-consuming step. To get a valid patent, you need to describe to the patent office in detail how you plan to make and use the invention. You need to include several drawings or figures that show what your invention looks like. When creating the figures, ensure that you label every key feature of the invention with a unique number. You will use these numbers when writing your detailed description of the invention in the patent specification.
The goal of the patent application is to create a technical description of how to make and use the invention. It is not a marketing plan so keep the marketing and business information to a minimum and focus on the technical details. Since patents and patent applications are usually published online, avoid including any business strategies or secrets in the patent application.
Do Not Be Frustrated And Give Up
Now, many people tend to get frustrated and give up. Do not! The provisional patent application is referred to as provisional for a reason. It does not have to be perfect and you never have to use fancy drawings or words when writing it. The key thing is to be detailed and include enough of a description such that a stranger can read the patent application, look at the figures and recreate the invention without too much tinkering or guess work. If you are able to do that, you can file a good provisional patent application.
3. Filing The Application Online at the USPTO.gov Website
After you have created the patent drawings and the detailed description, save these as files in PDF format and upload them to the patent office website at USPTO.gov. This step is the easiest and should not take you more than five minutes from start to finish.
In conclusion, the steps above are the three basic ones you need to follow to get US provisional patent but they can become quite complicated. You should have no problems filing your provisional patent if you follow these steps to the end.