Obtaining a Patent – Easy, Quick, Profitable

Bill Creen asked:

You’ve done a lot of work up to this point. You’ve come up with an innovative new idea. You refined and tested it. You’ve spent time doing online patent-searches. Your idea is patentable and marketable. So now what?

Now it’s time to switch gears from being ‘creative’ to being ‘productive’. At this point, most of your free cash may have gone into getting your idea this far. Unless you have many thousands of additional dollars for a patent attorney or a patent agent, you may want to follow take the following steps to reach your dreams as an inventor.

Efforts will now need to focus on contacting third parties. These will be people and companies that can bid against one another to take your invention to market. You will negotiate among the competitors to determine who will provide you with the best “deal”.

You may receive signing fees, bonuses, royalties and licensing fees. The party you select and ‘assign’ will foot the bill for the full patent — BUT ALL OF THIS ASSUMES YOU HAVE TAKEN ONE INITIAL CRITICAL FIRST STEP: TO PROTECT YOURSELF!

You need to have obtained a provisional patent – known as ‘patent pending’ – for your invention. Doing this will safeguard your idea for twelve months. During that time, no one to whom you show your secrets will be able to copy or steal it from you.

A provisional patent application must be filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A nominal filing fee must accompany the application, as well as the correctly completed forms, a description of your invention, and an optional drawing (highly recommended). The fee at this writing is $110 for a ‘small entity’ such as an individual; be sure to include the properly-completed small-entity declaration form.

Perhaps the most time-consuming and frustrating aspect of making this filing, is the potentially countless hours you may have to spend, wading thru the dozens of posted forms at the USPTO website. Then you’ll have to carefully read – and re-read – the government-ese language that instructs you on how to fill out the forms.

Not every line on every form must be completed – and that assumes you’ve properly determined which forms are actually required… Even though this seems like a major hassle and one last ‘hoop’ to jump through, you must obtain either a provisional patent, or a full patent, before you begin exposing your ideas to third parties.

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