OBTAINING A PATENT
The Steps To Obtain A Patent
While an inventor can prepare and file a patent application without using a registered patent attorney or agent, we do not recommend attempting the process without good legal help. As a leading intellectual property law firm, Coats & Bennett, PLLC, helps businesses and individuals through the steps to obtain a patent.
Assuming you have decided to use a patent attorney, the process is fairly straightforward and usually includes these steps:
- The patent attorney conducts a detailed invention interview with the inventor(s), to learn as much about the invention as possible and to collect copies of any drawings, notes, or other supporting materials the inventor has that explain the invention.
- The patent attorney prepares a draft patent application and drawings and provides that to the inventor(s) for review and comment.
- The patent attorney revises the draft application in view of any comments and makes sure that the inventors approve it for filing.
- The patent attorney files the patent application with the patent office, along with “formal” paperwork, which includes a declaration of inventorship.
The above process usually takes four to six weeks from the invention interview. That amount includes attorney fees, government-imposed filing fees and drafting charges for preparing formal patent drawings.
Importantly, the preparation and filing costs are only one component of the overall costs of obtaining a patent. Shortly after filing, the patent office will examine your patent application to determine its patentability. If that determination is negative, your patent attorney will have to make arguments to overcome the negative determination and/or make amendments to your application’s claims to overcome the negative determination.
The examination process may include several of these back-and-forth exchanges between the patent office and your patent attorney. The whole process of examination is called “patent prosecution.” Finally, if prosecution is successful and your patent application is allowed, you must pay an issue fee to the patent office.