How to Apply for a Patent?

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How to Apply for a Patent?

What is a patent?

When an individual, group of people or corporation invent something, they would typically apply for the right or title to their idea so that no one else can use the idea for their gain. A patent is a legal right that is granted a by a government or group of governments to the inventors to give them protection from other parties’ use of the developer’s ideas.

Key considerations before a patent is issued

Typically, the government or governments take a few factors into consideration before they award a patent. First, the government has to ascertain that the invention is new and is neither a copy of other existing ideas or is it a mere development of an already patent product. Secondly, the government authority weighs the benefits of granting the exclusive title to an individual or group Vis a Vis the greater good of society. Finally, the government has to make a decision as to the tenure of the patent. The patent may be granted for a defined period, which could range from 10 years to a lifetime.

Importance of filing for a patent

An idea or innovation that is not patented can be freely used or shared; anyone can use the idea for monetary benefit. An individual, group or corporation that would like to have exclusive use of or exclusive a financial gain from their innovation, therefore, have to secure that right by applying for patent protection from the government.  At the same time, the filing of a patent allows for information sharing, which would lead to others improving on the idea, without the risk of loss of gain by the inventor.

Where does one apply for it?

Each country has an agency or government department that is responsible for patent the request. Due to the cooperation on intellectual property rights by many countries, one need not apply for a patent in every country as a patent applied for, for example, in the US automatically covers many jurisdictions in Asia, Europe, and the Pacific. To apply for a patent in the US, an application has to be filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The applicant has to pay the relevant filing fees.

Requirements when applying

An application has to contain the following information:

Names of all inventors and their residences

Correspondence details e.g. address, email, and telephone number.

The title and a brief summary of the patent

A detailed description of the idea or invention including any drawings of the invention

Knowing the outcome

The result of the application will depend on whether one has filed a provisional patent quest or a non-provisional one. For the non-provisional one, review of the patent application will start immediately and the outcome communicated to the applicant. For the provisional application, no review shall be done, and this will only begin after full information is submitted and the provisional application converted to a non-provisional application.On average, the patent review process takes about 21 months.