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How do I go about getting a patent for a product/business idea in the US? I have no idea where to start.?

I have what I think is a great business idea – and that is it. I have no other clue how to get started but someone suggested I patent the idea first. I looked at government Patent Office website, but it all looks totally greek to me! Would I need a patent attorney to help me through the process? Any suggestions would be most welcome.

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3 Responses to “How do I go about getting a patent for a product/business idea in the US? I have no idea where to start.?”

  1. dragen_gto said:

    Patents are a pain in the arse at best.

    The best way to go about it is to visit the Patent office or call a Patent Lawyer (all they do is patents).

    Here are some great links to help out:

    US Patent and Trademark Office:
    http://www.uspto.gov/

    How to Get A Patent (USPTO):
    http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/howtopat.htm

    Don’t forget to check to see if your idea is already patented (something a lawyer can do too)
    http://www.getthepatent.com/

  2. butchtroll said:

    Patents today are not very useful unless you are a large corporation with the legal staff to defend it. Your best bet is to create name recognition as in “FRISBEE” opposed to “flying disc”.

    Early to bed, early to rise and ADVERTISE-ADVERTISE-ADVERTISE!

  3. imisidro said:

    From the article “How to Protect Your Idea or Intellectual Property” http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol81/protect.htm here are some steps you need to take:

    1. Consult a patent lawyer and check if your idea can be patented.
    2. Keep extensive records tracking the development of your idea.
    3. Conduct an extensive research to find out if there are similar patents.
    4. Document where, how and to whom you showed your idea.
    5. Do your own market research if your idea is marketable
    6. Explore the possibility of developing the product yourself, or licensing someone else to make the product for you.

    To bring your idea to market, here are some tips from the article “How to Get Your Consumer Invention to Market” http://www.powerhomebiz.com/012006/invention.htm

    Getting Started:

    – The Ideabook = Keep a bound ideabook of your invention idea. Date your entries.
    – Get it Notarized = get it officially confirmed that you conceived your invention idea on a particular date, and have your notes notarized.
    – Seek and Search = Do your own patent search to ascertain if your invention is original and prospectively patentable.
    – Create the Initial Prototype = Use simple materials to rig it up, to see if it works.
    – Get Educated = Educate yourself on the inventing process. Go to a bookstore or inventorhelp.com and review the plethora of books written on the subject.
    – The Non-Disclosure Form = Agreement signed between you and anyone you reveal your invention to.

    Moving Ahead

    – Analyze Costs to Produce = Ascertain what the costs will be.
    – The Evaluation Process = Analyze the benefits and features, strengths and weaknesses of your invention.
    – Get a Professional Prototype = Have professional prototypes made, the quality of which can be shown to potential retail buyers.
    – Protect Your Idea = Apply for a provisional patent yourself.
    – The Non-Provisional Patent = Your patent attorney files your non-provisional patent application.

    Options for Marketing

    – Licensing = The inventor has the choice to license the invention to a manufacturer in exchange for a royalty percentage in sales.
    – Manufacturing = Manufacturing and distributing your invention entails higher financial risk but can reap greater profits.

    Here are some books that can help you:

    From Patent to Profit by Bob De Matteis
    Protecting Your #1 Asset : Creating Fortunes from Your Ideas : An Intellectual Property Handbook
    Patents and How to Get One : A Practical Handbook
    How to Register Your Own Trademark : With Forms
    Patent It Yourself
    Protecting Your Ideas : The Inventor’s Guide to Patents




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