- March 1, 2018
- Posted by: aadibi
- Category: Information For Inventors, Information for Startups, Patent Basics
You’ve put so much time and energy into your new invention and want to begin profiting off of it. You really think this idea has the potential to make you some serious cash.
Maybe it could. But the odds are if you thought of the idea, someone else is going to think of it soon after, if they haven’t already.
That is why obtaining a patent for your invention is so important.
Make sure that this idea belongs to you and only you, so you can put it into fruition without worrying about anyone else stealing it.
You may be wondering how much a patent is. What do I need to do to obtain one? Should I hire an attorney?
These are all valid questions that we will answer right here in this blog.
How Much is a Patent Going to Cost?
Now that you’re sure your invention is eligible for a patent, you need to make sure it’s worth it.
This is a difficult topic to discuss because how much a patent is going to cost will be dependent on many factors.
These factors include but are not limited to: they type of invention, attorney fees, where the patent is being obtained, and marketability of the invention.
You should hire a patent attorney to assist you in applying for a patent. The price range for these attorneys can vary, depending on the complexity of your invention.
In addition to hiring an attorney, you will need to pay for the patent itself.
Domestic patents tend to cost around $5,000 to $10,000, while international patents are much more expensive, costing the inventor around $100,000.
More complex inventions will cost more, because they require more explanation and description in the patent application.
Marketability will also play a role in determining how much a patent is going to cost you. If your invention has a strong market value, investors will be more likely to throw money your way.
If your invention is difficult to understand or market to the public, you may have a harder time finding investors for your product.
It is best to consult with an attorney to get a better idea of how much a patent is going to cost you.
Understanding Patents: A Guide for Beginners
Getting a patent is a long and complicated journey with a lot of different moving parts.
You will need to have a solid understanding of what you are getting into before trying to receive a patent.
Let’s discuss all of the basic information you’ll need before taking the next step towards obtaining a patent.
What is a Patent?
A patent is a grant of exclusive property rights given to the owner of an invention. They are only granted for useful, intellectual, and new inventions that a person has created.
Patents are valid for a period of 20 years from the time it is filed. Patents are used to prevent other people from selling or making money off of your invention in the time period it is in effect.
It is basically a government-issued monopoly for your invention.
Patents are granted by a sovereign state. This means that they are only valid in the country in which they were filed.
So if someone else wanted to exploit your invention in, let’s say Mexico, then they could., unless you obtained an international patent for your product.
Can You Patent Your Invention?
Not all inventions are eligible for a patent. There are several questions you’ll need to ask yourself before applying for a patent and figuring out how much a patent is going to cost.
First off, you need to make sure that you actually have the right to obtain a patent.
One common reason you may not have the rights to an invention is if you used company time or resources to come up with the product.
If you are working for a business at the time you created your invention, there is a good chance they may have the rights to the patent.
To avoid this, be sure you only work on your invention while you are off the clock. Also, never use your company’s resources, such as their computers, for your invention’s benefit.
You also need to be sure that your invention is useful. If you cannot explain why your idea will benefit society, then it won’t be eligible for a patent.
Another reason your product may not be patented is if the idea is obvious. If people are already aware of your invention, then it is not really an invention and therefore can’t be patented.
For example, you can’t patent TVs or microwaves or vacuum cleaners because these are already known by society.
One question you’ll need to ask yourself is, “is my invention actually useful?”. Meaning, does your invention add to the field in which it belongs?
For instance, if you have invented a new software system for healthcare management, but it is less or equally efficient as one already in existence, then it would not be a useful invention.
However, the most important question to ask before applying for a patent is, “has it been done before?” If the answer is yes, then every other requirement doesn’t even matter.
If a patent already exists for your invention, then it will not be patentable.
With so many patents in existence, how can you be sure yours hasn’t been done before?
Luckily there are ways to easily search for them so you can find out if a patent already exists for your invention.
How to File for a Patent
We discussed above how much a patent is going to cost you in money. But you also need to consider this: how much is a patent going to cost you in time and resources?
If you still believe your invention is worth how much a patent is going to cost, then lets discuss how to file for one.
First, you need to determine what type of patent you are filing for, because each one requires a different application.
There are four types of patents: utility, provisional, design, and plant.
- Utility patents are the most common patents applied for. They are long, detailed instructions for new machines, processes, or systems available to companies or society.
- Provisional patents show that the inventor of a product was actually present at the time the invention came into fruition. These patents go right along with utility patents. They are less formal and are submitted prior to utility patents.
- Design patents are filed for the protection of a specific design of a product. For instance, Apple has design patents for their iPhones and Apple Watches, so that another company like Samsung cannot use their design.
- Plant patents are created for the protection of the discovery of a new plant that was created by cuttings or other means. These patents are specifically for horticulture, not genetically modified organisms.
Your invention may require that you apply for multiple patents.
For instance, if you invented a new type of software, you would first apply for a provisional patent. Then, you will apply for both utility and design patents to protect your invention in all aspects.
Once you’ve determined which type of patent(s) you will apply for, the next step is to fill out the application.
Regardless of how much a patent is going to cost you, it is best to apply for your patent as soon as possible, even before looking for investors.
This will ensure that your invention is not patented by someone else before you own the rights.
Hire a Patent Attorney
Writing a patent is a very difficult and challenging task for someone who has no experience in the field.
That is why patent attorneys are a vital key to ensuring that you obtain a patent for your invention.
You are certainly not an expert on patents, so why not hire an expert to do all of the work, and have it done the right way?
An attorney will help you determine whether your invention already exists, if your idea is worthy of a patent, how much a patent is going to cost you, and then assist you in filing for a patent.
In addition, an attorney will consult you on your patent throughout the process, and defend your patent in court if needed.
An attorney will know exactly what type of patent you’ll need, and how to write your specific patent. They can help you understand how much a patent is. They have many years of experience in the field, and will be an invaluable asset to you in this journey.
Having an attorney on your side will save you a ton of time and energy you could be using on gathering investors for your invention.
Patent attorneys have made a living out of writing patents, so it only makes sense to hire one to write yours, instead of struggling through it yourself.
Contact me today so I can help you apply and obtain the patent you need to protect the rights to your invention.