Questions What types of inventions are not eligible for patent protection? Can computer software qualify for patent protection? What makes an invention "novel"? When is an invention considered "nonobvious"? What makes an invention "useful"? What types of inventions can be patented? What types of inventions
Questions What remedies are available for patent infringement? When does patent protection end? What are the different stages of a patent's life? What constitutes infringement of a patent? What remedies are available for patent infringement? A patent owner may enforce his patent by bringing a patent
Questions What does it mean to "license" an invention? Can inventors who are employed by a company benefit from their own inventions? How can an inventor make money with a patent? What does it mean to "license" an invention? A license is written authorization to exploit an invention. An inventor usually
How do you preserve your trade secrets when shopping your invention? There are two popular strategies: file a provisional patent application (PPA) or use a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). Filing a PPA allows you to claim patent pending status and it preserves your place in line at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for one year. An NDA prohibits someone from disclosing your secret invention or its trade secrets.
Independent inventors are often faced with a nettlesome issue: How to show their brainchild to potential manufacturers without the risk that the manufacturer will "steal" the invention. Luckily, you can file a provisional patent application (PPA) -- filing a PPA is cheaper and easier than filing a regular patent application, and allows an inventor to claim "patent pending" status for 12 months.
To get a patent approved by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), you have to do your homework before filing the application, carefully prepare the application, and file it. Then you have to convince the USPTO examiner to approve your patent. Learn the steps in the application process so you can prepare a thorough application that will win approval.
There are three basic steps to preparing a provisional patent application: (1) searching for known inventions similar to yours, to make sure your idea is really new, (2) describing how to make and use your invention, and (3) completing and filing the required forms with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Preparing the drawings that must accompany a patent application can be an intimidating task. Can you do the drawings yourself -- particularly if you're no draftsman, much less an artist? The answer is "yes," and by doing so, you'll not only save a bundle of money, but reap other benefits as well. For many, the key to drawing success is computer-aided drawing software.
To obtain a patent, you must ensure that your invention qualifies for a patent and then be able to describe it in your application. By taking the proper steps -- none of which requires "legal" skills -- you can obtain a patent without the assistance of a lawyer.
You have a great idea and want to make money from it. Getting a patent can help you do that. The first step in getting a patent for your invention (or determining if you even qualify for one) is finding out if someone else already has a patent for your idea. If your invention is already patented, then you are out of luck. The quickest and easiest way to find out is to do an online patent search.