How to File a Utility Patent in the United States?

Blog    August 12, 2019
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Patent Registration

A utility patent is one of the most preferred forms of Intellectual Property (IP) that prohibits unauthorized companies or individuals from making, using, selling, or importing the inventor’s invention without his permission. As utility patents give inventors the right to produce and utilize a wide range of new and improved products, these appear more valuable than other patents. That’s why when it comes to patenting any invention; most inventors consider filing a utility patent application.

What types of inventions can obtain utility patents?

Utility patents issued by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) apply to a wide range of inventions, including:

  • Machines, like engines, computers, etc., that are composed of moving parts
  • Articles of manufacture, including no or few moving parts, like a screwdriver
  • Processes, like business processes
  • Compositions of matter, such as pharmaceuticals

What steps should you follow to file a Utility Patent?

The step-wise process to get a utility patent protection varies from nation to nation as it is territorial-bound, and the below steps will let you know how to file a utility patent according to the USPTO.

  1. Comprehend the patent purpose

The prime purpose of a utility patent is to enable the inventors to prevent the unauthorized use of their inventions. It is an exclusive IPR under which the patentee can enjoy the protective use, selling, and importing of his invention for a specific period. Like other kinds of IPRs, the validity of these patents is also country-specific. For instance, the utility patent in the US is valid for 20 years from the date of application.

  1. Maintain invention record

Maintaining the record is crucial while filing a utility patent application. Subject-matter that your invention record should include is as follows:

  • Important dates
  • Relevant descriptions and diagrams
  • The reason why you created that idea or invention
  • Signature of two witnesses supporting the invention
  1. Make sure that the invention meets the patentability criteria

For receiving a utility patent, you need to ensure that your invention meets the standard criteria of patentability. In this regard, you have to consider the below points:

  • You can’t get the patent protection for an idea from an invention
  • Your invention’s efficiency and work matter a lot
  • The creation should be non-obvious and useful
  • The uniqueness is must, i.e., the subject-matter for which you are seeking the patent should not be similar to any of the already existing ones.
  1. Commercialize potential

Obtaining a utility patent is quite expensive, and thus, rejection of your application will lead to enormous monetary losses. Hence, it is crucial to ensure that the invention is worth patenting, which you can easily do by having a clear understanding of the target market. Besides, it is beneficial to invent the product that can help you in making money by licensing or assigning it to any third-party.

  1. Carry out the patent search

A patent search can aid you to determine whether or not your invention is unique, and thus, prevent losses due to rejection of your Patent Application. That’s why it is essential to a conduct patent search to fetch all the required data from not just the U.S. Patent Office but also several other journals.

  1. Have information about the required documents

To enjoy the benefits of utility patent protection, you have to provide the following documents:

Ø Form 1: Utility Patent Application including information about the invention

Ø Form 2: Provisional or comprehensive specification

Ø Form 3: Undertakings under section 8

Ø Form 4: Declaration as to inventorship

Ø Form 26: Power of attorney in case of filing the application through a patent agent.

When to file for a utility patent?

You should file the patent application as soon as possible after finishing your invention. It is because of the Patent Law, which states that the first person (regardless of whether he is the actual inventor or not) who applies for the patent will always be considered as the inventor. The timely filing of the application can serve you with several advantages, like secure usage of your invention under a label Patent-pending, which will prohibit the Patent Infringement issues. It will also enable you to be benefitted with an option of making money by seeking and availing royalty payments from companies or people who used your invention when it was pending to get patented. For more visit: 

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