When you've invented something new and are about to begin the patent process, you may be overwhelmed with questions concerning the application procedure as well as what protections the patent itself affords. While some aspects of the patent process may seem complex, others will likely prove to be more simply addressed. The following questions and answers relate to some of the most commonly addressed topics concerning patents; they may help you in your research as you begin your patent process.
How Long Does a Patent Last?
Patent protections vary. For plant or utility inventions, twenty years of protection begins on the day the patent is granted. The end date is often the twenty-year anniversary of the patent application. However, design patents last just fourteen years.
How Much Does a Patent Cost?
This will necessarily vary in accordance with the type of patent you apply for which depends, of course, on your particular invention. Fees will also vary from country to country. If you are applying in the U.S. you can visit the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office website and view their fee schedule: uspto.gov/about/offices/cfo/finance/fees.jsp. In the UK you can visit the Intellectual Property Office to obtain their most current fees: ipo.gov.uk/types/patent/p-applying/p-cost.htm.
Can I Pay an Expert to Conduct a Patent Search?
One of the first steps in the patent process is searching to see if your invention already exists and has a patent. Because this step is associated with difficulty and is best left to experts, many people employ patent attorneys or increasingly more popular new invention and patent companies that act as resource for inventors. You can simply pay an affordable fee to have your patent search conducted thoroughly by a patent expert.
Are New Invention and Patent Companies Safe?
As a new inventor, you may want to keep your invention under wraps. Consequently, how do you know if an invention and patent company will take your idea? Internationally renowned companies are bound by confidentiality--legally bound. Once they hand over their written assurance of confidentiality to you, you will have the assurance you need to contract with them to see your patent through. Moreover, they work with countless inventors and each and every staff member is held to the same high confidentiality standards for every transaction.
How Do I Find Out More about the Patent Process?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you can file for patent protection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Their website will answer many questions that you may have about your invention as well as the patent application process. There are local offices and phone numbers posted to the site.
If, however, you decide to contact an invention and patent company, you'll find a helpful and streamlined atmosphere for filing your patent and seeing your invention come to fruition as a new product ready for production. In the complex world of patents, having a dedicated resource on your team is a great option that many inventors wouldn't do without!
Patrick Dawson has worked for a patent company for a number of years and acted as a business consultant for many clients. He currently works as a journalist and part-time professor at his local community college. For more information about how long does a patent last or patent related questions, visit this website: http://how-to-patent-an-idea.net/applying-for-protection-of-my-invention