The Dos And Don'ts Of Applying For A Patent

When inspiration strikes and you come up with a great idea for a new invention, of course you want to protect your intellectual property and ensure that nobody steals your idea to make a profit. Typically, the best way to protect intellectual property or even a product prototype is to obtain a patent. Unfortunately, the process of applying for a patent can be quite complicated and challenging, but there are a few tips you can keep in mind to make things go more smoothly for you.

DO Consult with a Patent Attorney

Patent laws change all the time, so you can't expect to teach yourself everything you need to know about patent law by doing your own research. Instead, it's in your best interest to consult with an experienced patent attorney from a firm like Lingbeck Law Office who is up-to-date on all the latest changes in patent and copyright law. Furthermore, a patent attorney will be able to help you fill out your application, which can help increase your chances of having it approved on the first attempt. This can save you a great deal of money, time, and hassle down the road.

DO Know What Kind of Protection You Need

There are basically two different kinds of protection when it comes to intellectual property and invention prototypes: copyrights and patents. Understanding which type of protection you need to file for is vital (and is also something a lawyer may be able to assist you with). Generally, a patent is recommended for any inventions or ideas that you plan on using for a physical invention down the road. On the other hand, a copyright may be better suited for creative works of art that you don't want to have duplicated by anybody else (such as the lyrics to a song).

DON'T Waste Time with a Provisional Application

Finally, understand the difference between a patent application and a provisional application and don't make the mistake of unnecessarily filing the latter. Generally, a provisional application is only recommended as a means of "buying time" until you can fill out and submit a full patent application. In most cases, you're better off filing a full patent application. In fact, a provisional application that fails to adequately and specifically describe your idea (as so many of them do) won't do much to protect you in the event that somebody attempts to file a full patent application on your idea or invention.