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How to file a patent

First Step

The first step to getting patent protection is preparing a patent application. A patent application is a document that outlines and explains an invention. A patent application has several parts, such as a background detailing the current state of the art, a summary of the invention, a brief description of the drawings included with the application, detailed description of the drawings, claims, and an abstract.

Each section of a patent application has their own purpose and requirements. However, the most important section of a patent application is the claims section because the claims section defines the exclusive rights and scope granted for a patent.


Second Step

The second step to getting patent protection is filing a patent application.

Once your application is drafted, you can file the application with the USPTO.

The USPTO will then begin the process for examining the application. Your application will be assigned an examiner who will decide whether to grant you a patent for your invention, and this examiner will likely issue office actions that pertain to the examination of your patent application. This is often a long, collaborative process with the examiner.


Keep in mind:

While anyone can file a patent application on your own behalf, it is highly recommended that you contact a patent agent or patent attorney to help you through this process. There are strict requirements for the patent application, and your patent agent or attorney will know the best strategies for gaining patent protection of your invention.

If you decide to file an application on your own behalf, please take advantage of the resources offered by the United States Patent and Trademark office here.

If you file on your own, patent examiners will typically recommend that you find counsel to help you through the examination process.

Author: Savanah McLendon.

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