When it comes to protecting your intellectual property, patent registration is an essential step. But how do you go about it? This comprehensive guide will provide you with a step-by-step overview of the process of obtaining a patent, from determining the type of protection you need to filing the application and paying maintenance fees. First, you'll need to determine if your invention is patentable. Depending on your goals, you may want to consider filing a provisional patent application.
This gives you a year to decide whether or not to pursue a full patent registration. Once you've decided to move forward, the patent registration process begins. Your application will be placed in a queue with a patent examiner who specializes in the field of your invention. After the examination, one of the following documents may be issued or required to carry out the patent registration process:
- The examiner will determine if the patent application meets the legal requirements for obtaining a patent.
- If the application is accepted as complete, an examiner will be assigned who will review it to determine if it meets the legal requirements for patentability.
- In addition, in the case of utility patents, three maintenance fees must be paid 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years after the patent was granted.
If your application is incomplete, the patent office will notify you by mail of what is missing. If your application is denied twice, you can appeal the examiner's decision to the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB). Once your patent is granted, you'll have exclusive rights to manufacture, use, offer for sale or sell your invention domestically or import it from abroad. A patent is essentially a property right granted by the government that lasts for a limited period of time (normally 20 years).