What Is A Patent?
A patent is a contract between an inventor and the government • Release your design – increase public knowledge and promote innovation in society • In return, exclusive rights to your design for a period of time.
Types of Patents?
There are two types of patents, utility patent and design patent.
1:UTILITY patent protects the function of the product.
2:DESIGN patent only protects the visual aspects of the product.
Requirements for Utility Patents
Novel: patent and non-patent literature search to determine if this has been met
Non-obvious: requires an inventive step (a POSITA could not come up with this)
Useful: however, you cannot patent a function, just the means of achieving the function.
How Do I Know Whether My Invention Has Already Been Patented?
To find out whether it’s already been patented, you’ll have to search the database of USPTO records and issued patents. After you pass this test, look to see whether the invention is sufficiently different in its use from what others would create. In many ways, this overlaps the research of the novel idea, but it also allows you some leeway. For instance, the mousetrap is the classic example used to illustrate this concept in many patent law courses. To date, many mouse traps have been patented, but each patented mousetrap is sufficiently different from the other mousetraps on the market that have received patent protection, and therefore novel.
Should I Patent?
Applying for a patent can be time-consuming and expensive, but if you’re granted a patent, it can provide significant protection for your invention. Before spending a fortune protecting your idea, it is important to first know your idea will work and prove there is a demand for your product. A proof of concept prototype is where every inventor should begin.
Proof of Concept Prototype
The first physical model created along the product roadmap is the proof of concept prototype. Designed to answer the question “will it work?”, it is strictly concerned with function over form and will likely bear little if any resemblance to the final product.Once you know your idea solves the problem intended, patenting your solution is the next step.
Bringing a product to market is a grueling process, without the proper guidance you can end up running through a lot of capital in all the wrong places. Having an experienced product development team in your corner will make the difference.