So I had an idea! I wanted to bring it to life and make sure I, and it, was protected during the process. AKA, welcome to getting a patent! Easy peasy, right? Or so I thought. I first filed for a provisional patent and the process was quite simple. Since the onset of developing Kinkless, I had kept careful records of my invention, as I do all my inventions. So, when I applied for a provisional patent, I simply submitted what I had in my records, up until that point. This was the easy part!
Until it came to getting a non-provisional-patent. A non-provisional patent was a little more complicated and surely, not what I was expected at all. Therefore, to save you the many struggles of getting your amazing product and idea patented, I bring you this!
Patent Your Ideas – Five Things You Should Know
1. As submitting a trademark, there is a ton of information out there about patenting your product, a lot of it is in legalese.
Legalese – Legal lingo in which the common man has no idea what it means.
Legalese can be quite complicated and cumbersome to decipher. You will need a guide or some sort of assistance and there are classes you can take. Depending on what State you are in – and if you qualify – these can be at no cost to yourself. They will help you construct and submit your patent and deal with any objections that may arise.
2. Search, search, search. One of the most important lessons I learnt is that before you file for any intellectual property, be it a patent or a trademark, you have to search what’s already out there and ensure that your product, or your mark is eligible to be protected. For patents, search the USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database (PatFT)
3. Assess the commercial potential of your invention. Now, applying for any intellectual property is expensive. Even without a patent attorney or the use of professionally prepared patent drawings, the costs are about $1500 in fees to file and obtain a patent from USPTO. The fee may be reduced by a 1/3 if you qualify for a micro entity. However, any mistakes you make have a financial penalty as well, so keep that in mind.
4. Ensure you know the layout in which you must submit your patent; background, Brief summary of inventions, brief and the detailed description of the drawings and then claims.
5. Lastly having a patent or a trademark does not automatically mean that it will deter people from copying you. Having a patent or a trademark just gives you recourse that you can follow should someone be bold enough to blatantly copy you.
All in all,the patent application is quite arduous and while there are countless resources out that can aid you, the complexity of the process could provide a stumbling block to overcome. If you take the time and research, research, research you could overcome with gusto. If all fails and you have the extra financial resource, consider filing with an intellectual property attorney. While this option may be a little pricier, it does eliminate all the guess work that comes with filing yourself. I will say that, for me, I learned a lot in this process due to having to go through it alone. If I can do it, I know you can too.
-Nina Lewis – #kinkfreekinkless