Filing A Patent in Greenville, SC
Before you file for a patent you must make a choice to either hire a lawyer to file the patent for you or to do it on your own. If you opt to hire a lawyer to help you file a patent you should be ready to spend some money. Most patent lawyers charge a minimum of $5,000. The process on how to file a patent remains the same whether you do it yourself or a lawyer does it for you. The only difference is how much work you must do and the level of expertise you bring to the task.
Filing a patent is a lengthy procedure, usually taking 12 to 18 months for the US Patent examiner to hand out a decision the patentability of the invention. You are also required to conduct research prior to filing for a patent. The research serves as part of the basis for approval or rejection when you file a patent on invention. It is the most basic and most important step when you file a patent.
During the research phase, you must conduct a patent search to determine if the invention is patentable. In the evaluation phase, you should conduct an in-depth investigation into the technical field involved, including study of the closest prior patents and references and a comparison with the invention to identify possible similarities and differences.
If after this process you (or the patent attorney, if you choose that route) decides that a patent should be applied for, then a patent application will be drafted and filed in the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). You can choose to file a regular patent application (RPA) or you can file for the provisional patent application (PPA) on the invention. When you file a PPA it allows you to claim patent pending status for the invention but involves only a small fraction of the work and cost of a regular patent application. All that is required to file a patent through the PPA is a fee of $80 ($160 for large companies), a detailed description of the invention, telling how to make and use it, and an informal drawing.
When you file a patent on the invention, the examiner must be provided with a detailed description of how the invention is made and used, complete with drawings, and a set of claims that will ultimately define the scope of the inventor’s patent rights. A patent examiner is assigned once the application has been filed in the USPTO. You or your patent attorney could seek to obtain favorable final decision through correspondence with the examiner, discussions in person or by telephone, and perhaps amendments to the claims. If the application succeeds, a patent is issued on the application. If the invention is deemed not patentable, the applicant can appeal to the USPTO’s Board of Appeals. A further appeal may be taken to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit if the USPTO Board’s decision is unfavorable.