How to Get a Patent on an Idea

If you want to know how to get a patent on an idea, that means you’ve had an idea for a new device, a new invention or a new design of an old device or invention. Patents protect you from others making, selling or using patented ideas for 20 years in the United States, or importing said devices for twenty years in the U.S.

You should know that an idea or a concept can’t be patented. That is, if you have the idea “wormhole to another solar system”, you can’t patent that idea. If you were to design a device that created a wormhole to another solar system, you could patent that idea for your invention, or you design for that device. (I know, wormholes don’t work that way. You get the point.)

Patenting an Idea

Patenting an idea is a can be accomplished if you have a specific, practical new design or invention. If that’s the case you need to learn how to get a patent on your idea. But if it’s just an idea itself, you won’t be able to get a patent.

Brainstorm an Idea for an Invention, Design or Device

Get an idea for a inventive new device. Next, draw a sketch or drawing of that proposed invention.

Hire a Patent Agent – Conduct a Patent Search

Next, conduct a patent search, to see if someone else has patented a similar device or invention. You’ll need to hire a patent agent or patent attorney to perform this search.

Hire a Patent Attorney

How to Get a Patent on an Idea

How to Get a Patent on an Idea

If you’re serious about getting a patent on your design, consider hiring a patent attorney to represent you at the PTO – that is, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

The patent process is complicated and patent law is frustrating for amateurs, so this is going to save you a lot of frustration. Note that patent attorneys cost money, just as patent agents do.

Apply for the Patent

Now that you have your unique invention and the people to represent you, apply for a patent at the PTO. Remember to pay our application fees. The Patent Office might ask for a working model of you invention.

Patent Pending

Once you submit you patent application to the U.S. Patent Trademark Office, remember to start listing your invention as “Patent Pending”. This lets other inventors and designers know that they shouldn’t copy your design.

Cross Your Fingers

After you submit your application, you’re probably in for a long wait. The patent process might take years to complete. If the PTO denies your patent, then appeal the decision. Note that this costs an additional fee.

Getting a Patent on an Idea

So you can’t get a patent on an idea, per se, but you can get a patent on a good idea for a specific design, new device or invention. Learning how to get a patent on an idea is learning how to follow the patent process, then maintaining the patience to wait, while the PTO decides the fate of your patent.

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