The patent process may seem like a straightforward one, but there are more steps than you think. It is hard to believe that not every idea or invention can be patented, and the patent application process must be completed with caution. There may be others who claim they may have had the same idea well before you, delaying the process to obtain a patent.
Trademark and Patent Law
Given the laws around intellectual property, patent attorneys are very important to the patent process. Given the many challenges throughout the process, you are among about 500,000 applications received by the USPTO every year. Therefore, a lot of room exists for applications to be delayed or pushed back if they do not seem to be as important. While an application filing may only allow a new patent to last 20 years, it is also important to remember that within the 12 industries that use patents, only about half of all applications processed are approved. This means that a patent attorney may be of the greatest help to confirm that you complete the process by the rules. While they work specifically in patent law, intellectual property practice, and trademark law, patent lawyers have a great challenge in attempting to have every patent application approved.
The Patent Application
Applying for a patent is not necessarily a clear process. It may take months or even years and often has to be renewed or recompleted many times. Without the assistance of a patent lawyer, the 12-month expiration of a single application may easily pass, and the process will have to be started all over again. With the help of a patent lawyer, following the laws and regulations of the patenting process move much smoother, including the knowledge of the inventions that are capable of patent, exactly which application forms to file and when, along with the proper industry in which to patent your invention.
From a Provisional Patent Application to a Completed Patent
After the initial filing, you luckily have a “patent pending” status. For the next 12 months this is the case, and then it may only need a renewal. And, with the half million applications submitted annually, there is a good chance that you will have to apply more than once before getting an official answer. So, if the 12 months pass and the pending status expires, the application needs to be restarted. For these reasons, a patent attorney helps make the steps of the patent process much easier.
During the patent process, attorneys are the best source of assistance in getting approval. They are also able to help with intellectual property questions of trademarks and copyright as needed. While certain applications are more solid than others, the patent process as a whole is a much more difficult one than anyone would assume. So, take the application process carefully if you ever take it on.