What Questions Should You Ask If You Aren’t Sure About Filing a Patent?

Deciding to file a patent may be a difficult undertaking. Where do you begin? How much will it cost? Will you be able to get a patent? Will patents aid in this case? Let’s go through some basic questions regarding submitting a patent, with the hopes of reducing ambiguity and bringing you closer to a decision.

Was your invention’s initial public disclosure or sale more than a year ago?

Potential clients will occasionally contact us with an idea that they have been considering for some time. In certain circumstances, they may have even demonstrated or sold their idea to others. What many first-time patent filers are surprised to learn is that you do not have a limitless amount of time to file a patent application.

Patents have a time limit. Inventors have one year from the date of their initial public disclosure to file for a US patent. Foreign patent protection may be unattainable in some countries if you have previously publicly revealed your idea prior to obtaining a patent filing date.

If you first demonstrated your innovation to the public less than a year ago, you must mark the one-year anniversary on your calendar. To be safe, file your US patent applications far ahead of the 1-year deadline, as it is a race to the Patent Office.

Is it better to get a design patent or a utility patent for your invention?

Aside from the apparent ramifications of submitting the correct sort of patent application, scheduling and money are important considerations when deciding whether to file for a utility patent or design patent protection. A typical design patent application for a small firm would cost less than $2,000 for the initial filing and would have an approximate success rate of 85 percent. The first filing fee for a utility patent application can range from $9,700 to $20,000, with an 80-90 percent risk of at least one patent rejection.

How much budget do you have set up for acquiring a patent?

So you effectively have a high likelihood of success acquiring a design patent at a far lower cost vs. a high risk of rejection obtaining a utility patent at a significantly higher cost. This should come as no surprise given that utility patents typically provide more protection than design patents.

If your present budget does not allow for the submission of a non-provisional utility patent application, consider filing a provisional application to gain patent-pending status and purchase additional time.

What is the monetary worth of a patent-pending product?

If you plan to launch your product, it’s worth considering the added value that patent-pending status may provide. This element may have an impact not just on sales but also on your capacity to raise funding. Is it important for potential investors to know that patent applications have been filed? Have your rivals filed for, or perhaps received, patents?

Would your products infringe on a patent that already exists?

Keep in mind that a patent does not grant you the right to sell your product, but just the right to prevent others from doing so. It is conceivable, and not unusual, to possess a patent but still infringe on other patents while seeking to market your product. Consider if a freedom-to-operate (FTO) analysis makes sense, and if so, how much such a patent infringement search would cost. Even if you possess a patent for your product, you can still be held accountable for infringing on someone else’s patent.

Categorized as Patent