What is the process to register a patent? How do I get a patent?

Patents can be highly lucrative business assets. Once granted, a patent can prevent others from engaging in certain competitive activities against the patent holder. Therefore, seeking to protect an invention through the patent registration process, clients can develop and maintain a competitive position in the marketplace. We provide patent protection & counseling at all stages of the patent registration process.

Types of Patents and the Patent Registration Process

The length of time and steps involved in the patent registration process depend on the type of invention at hand. The following are the various types of patents:

  • Provisional

  • Non-provisional Utility

  • Design Patents

  • Plant Patents

  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Patents

Applicants typically file provisional patent applications for strategic reasons. For example, prior to business negotiations as either leverage or protection. A provisional patent also gives you time (one year) to consider whether to file an application for registration.

Applicants file non-provisional applications for obtaining registration of a patent.  Some non-provisional applications can take two to over several years to prosecute.

Design patents protect the appearance as well as the aesthetic features of a product. Design applications are not published, but registrations are typically obtained quickly.

Steps in the Patent Registration Process

The following are the basic steps in the patent registration process.

  • Patent Search

  • Patent Application

  • Prior Art Disclosures

  • Publication of Patent

  • Patent Prosecution

  • Allowance of Patent

  • Patent Registration

The Importance of a Patent Search Before Starting The Registration Process

One should consider completing a patentability search prior to proceeding with a the patent registration process. A search will help reveal identical or similar inventions with priority. Therefore, the search can help determine whether a registration is viable. Additionally, a search helps with drafting of the invention to minimize possibility of a prior invention being cited.

A Provisional v. a Non-Provisional Application

One must decide on proceeding with an application for registration, or filing a provisional application. An inventor can opt to file a provisional application to reserve a patent filing date and obtain patent pending status. However, within one year the applicant must file a corresponding Non-Provisional application for registration.

What Happens after a Patent Application is Filed?

After a patent application is filed, the patent registration process begins. The application is placed in a queue with a Patent Examiner that specializes in the field of the invention. After examination, any of the following may be issued or necessary in going through the patent registration process.

  • Election of Claim Sets

  • Patent Office Actions Requiring Response/Arguments

  • Amendments to Claims

  • Patent Appeal

  • Allowance

The patent registration process can be lengthy as well as costly. Therefore, one should seek the advice of knowledgeable patent counsel prior to proceeding with patent registration.

Cost of Patent Registration

We recognize the cost of patent registration can get expensive depending on the scope as well as number of claims desired. In addition, the amount of Office Actions taken by the Patent Examiner can significantly increase expense. We work with clients to minimize unnecessary costs and obtain the broadest patent protection possible while keeping within business budgets.