One of the most common mistakes inventors do is they overlook the importance of patenting their product. A patent is, at its simplest, a monopoly granted to inventors for a period of time for the exclusive right to make, sell, import, use or otherwise commercially exploit a new invention. This new invention can be a new kind of device, tool, machine, a new method of manufacturing, or even a food, pharmaceutical or a chemical product.
If you are an inventor and waiting for your idea to take shape and hit the market, you need to file for patent of your own. Though the process can be a bit complicated, it is an important step and necessary too if you want to protect the idea.
Before filing for a patent, you need to do a patent search that will reveal if there is any other product in the market that is similar to you. Patent search is a meticulous process and needs to be a done thoroughly. You can run the search on your own if you have knowledge about how the patent office classifies inventions or how attorneys characterizes things and then proceed. Otherwise it is going to be looking-for-a-needle-in-the-haystack difficult for you to learn if there is a similar product patented already. If one can afford, getting professional help on patent search might be a good and safe idea.
There are three basic criterions to register a patent:
- Your product must be original. The applicant must be the original inventor or his/her assignee.
- Your invention must stand up to the promise of utility and functionality as it is supposed to.
- Your invention must show inventive ingenuity and not be obvious to someone who may be skilled in that particular discipline.
Filing for a patent and obtaining it properly can be hard work if you do not have any expert help to guide you step by step. This is exactly where a patent attorney steps in. The attorney has all the skills and knowledge about the process and can easily take you through it.
Finding an attorney best for your case
If you have a family attorney, ask for their referrals. A search within your circle might also get you a skilled attorney. It is okay if you do not have a direct connection to a lawyer, you can always contact the local or state bar association.
Before hiring an attorney for your assistance, do a background check. See if the lawyer you are hiring has experience in that specific area. You need to have an attorney you trust and who is capable of backing you up strong. Get someone who is attentive to details and does not use legal jargons while discussing the legal process, and if they do, they explain it afterwards. You need someone who is willing to make you a part of the whole process.
After you have decided on who you want to hire, discuss your product with your attorney, explain why your product is different than the others, so when needed, the attorney can defend you on the originality of the product.
Spending bucks on legal help to carry forward a patent filing might seem unnecessary to many but a professional can minimise the risk of getting into trouble afterwards. An expert will leave you free from the stress and tension of getting something wrong and messing it up. After all the effort you put into developing the product, you deserve to have a good night’s sleep, right?