Thứ Sáu, 22 tháng 3, 2019

Three tips for successfully obtaining a patent for your invention

Securing a patent is no simple task. Not only does the applicant have to have created something distinctly original, they must wade through complex decisions such as what type of patent to secure (design or utility), what to reasonably invest in attorney fees (patents can cost upwards of $10,000), and how to protect their idea during the ‘patent-pending’ phase. Further, from the initial prep work until the final verdict, the entire process can take years to complete.

But for entrepreneurs who have worked hard to design something new and different - and want to financially protect their creative efforts - the effort is worthwhile.
Here is three tips for successfully obtaining a patent for yourinvention:

1.Ask Questions During Research & Development
If a manufacturer tells you a design can’t be made - which will likely happen when creating something that hasn’t been made before - asking questions instead of getting frustrated or defeated is your best strategy.  Answers like “We can’t do it” or “We don’t have the right equipment” should not be conversation-enders. Instead, they can open up a dialogue about the specific obstacles the supplier is facing.

Maybe it’s simply a question of testing a new procedure and the factory doesn’t want to pay for it (but you are willing to!). Or maybe there is a design tweak that will make the product more production-friendly without compromising its look or performance. Whatever the issue, you can’t address it if you don’t know exactly what it is.

Answering questions is important too, as suppliers who are educated about why your product is valuable are arguably more likely to help you bring it to life.

2.Understand the Importance of Language
From the very beginning of the patent process, coming up with a persuasive way to describe what you have designed is key. First, your filing attorney must be exceedingly clear about what sets the product apart from others, otherwise, you run the risk of including incomplete or faulty information in your application. Giving him or her the best possible understanding you can is paramount to successfully positioning your request to the patent examiner.

A great attorney will advise you about which information to share, but preparing basic content in advance will help expedite the process. Prior to your first consultation, make sure you’ve written a detailed overview about why your idea is conceptually and functionally unique, with specific details about the the construction and design and and ways the product is measurably different than other items on the market. Reading legal websites and searching for people in your network who have gone through the patent process can also be beneficial prep tasks.

3.Work With People Who Are Experts At What They Do
This is a common lesson for new entrepreneurs. In an effort to get the best deal and make the most of their limited funds, they make decisions based on cost alone. To avoid this error, it’s important to remember two things. One, just because someone claims they can help with your project, does not mean they are the best person for the job. Being able to help and being a qualified expert in a given area are vastly different.  When hiring an attorney, look for someone with a deep knowledge of your product category and experience with similar types of inventions.

Secondly, while going with the most expensive option certainly doesn’t ensure success, investing in quality often means that you will have fewer hiccups while on your patent quest. Conversely, going with the cheapest attorney you can find may translate to wasted time and higher costs down the road, such as having to re-work expensive prototypes or re-start the patent application from scratch.

By applying these tips to your patent efforts, you increase your chances for a smoother application experience and ultimately a patent-protected product.

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