What are patents and why you need to know?

How to patent an idea

What are patents?

 

How to proceed with patenting?

Once you think you have come up with an idea from your ideation efforts, you need to articulate it clearly irrespective of how incremental its contribution is to the world. A mere thought or half-baked idea of an invention may not be sufficient to patent it and unclear details may cause confusion later during patent prosecution.

As a first step, You should clearly frame the technical problem that is being solved. Post defining the problem, you need to frame at least the basic details of your technical solution/invention and the technical advantages the invention provides. In my experience, at the initial stage, a high level flowchart outlining the essential steps is really useful in articulating the invention.

Post this articulation, you should ascertain that your invention is unique, that is, the same invention should not exist in public domain prior to applying your patent. You can ascertain this by doing a prior art search or by outsourcing it to a professional or a firm. The professional search may cost you a bit but it may also help saving higher patent drafting costs by concretely defining the unique features.

Just in case, you want to try your hand at patent searching, there are many free databases available besides a simple Google search known to most people. Some of these databases are Google Patents, Google scholar, Freepatentsonline, USPTO patent search, EP register search etc. There are many others but these provide a good starting point for a patent search.

After the invention is clearly defined, a patent agent or a patent attorney in your desired jurisdiction can help you file it with a patent office in the desired jurisdictions for further proceedings at the patent office.

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