What is a patent?
A patent is a government issued license granted to an inventor giving the inventor the legal right to prevent others from using, producing, practicing, manufacturing or selling that invention for a fixed period of time – usually 20 years.
How did patents originate?
In 1449, Henry VI of England granted John of Utynam a 20-year monopoly on a process for making stained glass in return for the requirement that John of Utynam teach the process to other glassmakers. This soon established a tradition of giving inventors short-term monopolies in return for them disclosing the specifics of their inventions to society.
What’s the benefit of a patent?
Imagine you created the infamous “better mousetrap,” only to discover your neighbor liked the idea enough to build your mousetraps and sell them without sharing his profits with you. You’d probably never try to create a better anything again.
But if you were given a patent for your mousetraps, your neighbor who liked the idea so much would have to negotiate some payment to you in order to build and sell them. Now you have greater incentive to come up with new inventions. That’s not just a benefit to you, but a benefit to society as well.
Is it easy to get a patent?
Easy is not a word you would use with the patent application and approval process. The application is ultimately complicated both legally and technically. Not adhering to the expected application standards and requirements can result in a patent application being denied. Actually, even when an application does meet all the requirements it’s often rejected the first time anyway as explained in https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/43137/20200108/why-inventhelp-is-a-great-resource-for-new-inventors.htm post. Additional explanation or supporting materials are often required to resolve the patent examiner’s questions or objections. The process can easily take a year or more.
What kind of help do I need to file a patent application?
You will need the services of a patent agent or a patent attorney registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (”USPTO”). A registered agent or attorney is the only person who can represent you in a patent application.
What’s the difference between a patent agent and a patent attorney?
A patent agent has submitted qualifications demonstrating mastery of a technical or legal subject area and passed a test demonstrating knowledge of patent law and procedure, sufficient to effectively represent a patent applicant before the USPTO.
A patent attorney has passed the same test but is also a practicing lawyer able to provide the applicant with legal advice and serve in litigation.
You can find a number of patent law firms or patent agencies like InventHelp who can provide references and an up-front menu of fixed prices for specific services.
What does it cost to obtain a patent?
Between application fees and the cost of an agent or attorney, an average patent could cost between $5,000 and $30,000. The costs can certainly go higher for anything complex or complicated.