July 12, 2023
How does a Patent Work and When Should you File a Patent?

How does a Patent Work and When Should you File a Patent?


A patent is a legal protection granted to inventors for their inventions, providing exclusive rights to make, use, and sell the invention for a limited period of time. It is a form of intellectual property right that safeguards the uniqueness and innovation of an invention. Patents are typically filed with national or regional patent offices and, if granted, provide the inventor with a legally enforceable monopoly over the invention.


The process of filing a patent involves several key steps:


1. Invention Disclosure

Begin by documenting and describing your invention in detail. This includes outlining its technical aspects, features, and potential applications. It is essential to keep thorough records of your invention, including sketches, diagrams, and any experimental results.


2. Patent Search

Conduct a thorough search to determine if a similar invention already exists. This search helps you assess the novelty and patentability of your invention. It is advisable to seek the assistance of a patent attorney or conduct the search using patent databases and resources.


3. Determine Patent Type

Identify the appropriate type of patent for your invention. The main types of patents include utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. Utility patents protect functional inventions, design patents protect ornamental designs, and plant patents protect new varieties of plants.


4. Prepare Patent Application

Draft a patent application that includes a detailed description of the invention, claims that define the scope of protection sought, and any necessary drawings or diagrams. The application should comply with the specific requirements of the patent office where you intend to file.


5. File the Patent Application

Submit your patent application to the appropriate patent office. This includes paying the filing fees and providing all required documentation. Some patent offices may require additional forms or information, so be sure to follow their guidelines.


6. Patent Examination

After filing, the patent office conducts an examination process to assess the novelty and non-obviousness of the invention. This examination typically involves a review of prior art references and an evaluation of the patent claims.


7. Respond to Office Actions

If the patent examiner raises objections or rejections during the examination, you may need to respond to these office actions. This may involve amending the claims, providing additional information, or presenting arguments to overcome the examiner’s objections.


8. Patent Grant or Rejection

If the patent office determines that your invention meets the patentability criteria, they will issue a patent grant. This grants you exclusive rights to the invention for a specified period of time. If the patent application is rejected, you may have the option to appeal the decision or amend the application to address the examiner’s concerns.


It’s important to note that the patent filing process can be complex and requires a deep understanding of patent law and procedures. Consulting with a patent attorney or patent agent is highly recommended to navigate the process effectively, increase the chances of obtaining a patent, and ensure that your invention is adequately protected.


For more information on how to file a patent or how to franchise your business, contact Chris Conner with Franchise Marketing Systems (FMS Franchise):  [email protected] 


Or visit the FMS Franchise corporate site:  www.FMSFranchise.com 


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