Monday, November 12, 2012

Securing a Patent Is the First Step in Realizing a Return for Your IP Invention

Obtaining a patent is the first step in monetizing or selling your intellectual property patent for a profit on the open market. IP brokers are experts in assessing the value of and selling patents to U.S. based or global investors. Patents sales take place in industries such as computer and other technology, medical devises, communications including mobile technology, and other intellectual property assets to a range of inventors and entrepreneurs who are always looking for new and improved IP products.
A patent for your invention ensures you have "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling" the invention in the United States or importing the invention into the United States," according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Granted for new inventions, patents are also granted for improvements on existing patents, including the invention itself or the design of a new invention.
The U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) is the institution that awards patents. The process of obtaining a patent requires that you keep a detailed record of your invention including every step taken in creating the invention, including how you came up with the idea. Along with this description, diagrams of each step, including modifications and prototypes are most often required. Although USPTO mandate is to give assistance in helping you secure a patent, they strongly recommend you secure a patent attorney or other experienced professional to guide you through the patent process.
At the time of application, your invention cannot be for sale. You should also research the approximate value of your invention or have the professional you hired help you in this process. There are associated fees to get a patent so you will want to make sure that your invention is worth at least the cost of obtaining the patent. Small entity fees are much less than those that apply to those not meeting the definition. The official designation of "small entities" includes individuals, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Small businesses industry-specific, and based on the number of employees and annual receipts.
You will also need to complete a thorough patent search to make sure your invention is new. While this part of the process is time-consuming, it is a necessary step. You or your representative will need to search scientific and technical journals as well as a Patent and Trademark Depository Library. Not only should you search for U.S. patents, but depending on your invention and the degree of protection you are seeking, foreign patents may be applicable as well. You are likely to find similar patents and be able to prove how your patent is different or improves on earlier designs.
When it comes time to file an application, there are two primary options. You can file a provisional patent application or PPA that provides you with a patent pending status, essentially locking in the date of your application. This step involves a smaller upfront outlay of cash, however a regular patent application is required within one year.
An oath or declaration claiming that the inventor is the first to have invented the subject or product accompanies the application material. There are many other fees associated with the patent process, depending on whether you are seeking domestic and/or global protection, if you want to apply for an expedited process, and other options.
What follows your submission of application is an examination process that involves an USPTO examiner who will gather precise information about your invention to verify that it is indeed unique and to define the scope of the protection you are seeking. The entire patent issuance process generally takes 12 to 36 months, depending on the industry associated with your invention. Paying for a prioritized examination generally reduces that time to colder to the 12-month period. Once your invention is in the patent pending phase, you may begin the process of selling or monetizing your invention as it then that you have secured the rights to the invention.
Jillynn Stevens, Ph.D. is a writer with a vast array of subject matter expertise. Along with publishing articles for large and small businesses, she researches, writes and publishes reports on various public policy issues.

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