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When Should an Inventor Patent Their Inventions?


The invention process is one of the best ways for business owners to benefit from their ideas without having to spend a fortune on legal fees or licensing fees. However, if your idea is unique, there may be a need for you to engage the services of an attorney InventHelp or patent lawyer to handle the legal aspects of the invention process. Once your idea is developed and ready to move forward, it is important to InventHelp determine whether or not you will want to take a prototype (a working version of the product) to the next stage of development. This is where it can become necessary to seek patent protection for your invention. At this point, you should consider carefully all of the steps you will have to undertake in order to seek patent protection for your invention.

One of the primary considerations with regard to seeking protection for your invention ideas relates to the need InventHelp to demonstrate to the patent examiner that your idea is legally separable from the prior art. As you undoubtedly know, patent applications are subjected to rigorous legal review at every step of the way. In addition, there are many factors involved in determining whether a product or technology is separable from the prior art. For instance, if your product has obvious similarities to some of the prior art, the examiner may not view your product as being clearly patentable. Therefore, it is important for you to work closely with your attorney to carefully determine whether your invention is legally separable from the prior art before you submit a patent application.

Another factor you should consider when it comes to protecting your invention ideas relates to whether your idea is too similar to the prior art. This issue is generally addressed by examining whether the claimed invention "quotifies" or "confuses" the prior art. Quotification is a highly technical issue and should only be addressed by a qualified attorney. "Confusing" is a much less technical issue and generally requires a less intensive search to determine whether the claimed invention is legally separable from the prior art. Generally speaking, an examiner will determine that a machine does what you say it will do if it does what the prior art says it does - so the mere fact that the machine does what you say it will typically result in the patent applicant obtaining protection.

While it is certainly important to work on the basics of the invention, it is equally imperative to devote as much time and attention to developing the details as well. Thus, many inventors spend a great deal of time on the invention itself, but spend little time developing the details of their ideas. This is arguably even more detrimental than having an idea that is legally separable from the prior art. Simply put, if the details of your invention are so simple that they can be easily developed by someone else, it is likely that you will be granted a patent even if the rest of the ideas related to the invention are legallyirous.

One final factor that should be considered when deciding whether your invention ideas are legally separable from the prior art is how long it will take you to perfect your idea. In the case of many new invention ideas, many times it will take months or years to perfect the idea so that it is legally distinguishable from the prior art. In some cases, especially those where the idea and the invention are connected, it may take less than one year to achieve this goal. If your new invention will take nearly a decade to accomplish or will require you to submit the same application over again in the future, it may not be worth the effort.

Often, inventors will seek protection based on a new invention idea that has "skipped the entire testing process". Unfortunately, this is often when the truly bad patent applications are issued. These types of inventions often have nothing to do with the product itself, but rather a sketch of a blueprint for building the product or manufacturing the product. While it may be relatively easy to draw a model of the product from a photograph or computer render, if your idea is not one that was specifically dreamed up on your own, there is a good chance that the USPTO will reject your application and you will lose your patent.

The majority of great inventions that have been developed by innovative inventors were born out of an idea that someone else had in mind. Great inventions are not "one-offs". Most times, good inventors spend considerable amounts of time thinking about their new ideas and then conceptualizing how to go about applying for a patent. Without a patented idea, you are just another "innovator" that cannot get the same protection that others receive for their great inventions. The majority of great new ideas never see the light of a patent application and therefore remain under wraps until they are brought into play in a court of law. Many times, the inventor does not even receive the protection needed for their new ideas until their business starts to take off and they realize how lucrative it can be.

So, at what point should an inventor submit their patent application? While there are many people that will tell you that a new invention idea should be brought to light before a patent is filed, there are actually very valuable points to be noted when determining if an idea is indeed revolutionary and worthy of a patent application. One important point to note is the difficulty of testing the idea in a production environment. While it may be possible to build a working prototype, there are simply too many variables that come into play with manufacturing equipment and manufacturing processes to allow an accurate, practical testing process to be undertaken prior to filing a patent application. However, often times an idea that is innovative enough to be deserving of a patent application can be brought to light by way of constructive innovation - which includes prototype building and testing.

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When Should an Inventor Patent Their Inventions?

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Published on February 13, 2021

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