Every great invention starts with an idea. The patent application process is designed to help inventors protect their invention from being stolen by another person. There are certain steps that must be followed before an invention reaches the point when the patent application process should begin. First, it is important to understand the difference between an invention and an idea.
Ideas Versus Inventions
Thomas Edison’s description of genius could also be used to describe inventions. They are 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. The simplest way to describe the difference between an idea and invention is this, ideas are problem statements and inventions are solutions. Ideas state a problem. Imagine that air planes do not exist. So you come up with the idea that travelling by air would be quicker than travelling by land. It allows people to travel in straight lines and at higher speeds.
So you run off to a patent attorney and explain to them that you want to patent the idea of travelling by air in an air plane. The patent attorney will inform you that you cannot patent the idea of air travel, but instead you need to reduce it to practice. Before something can be patented, it must be designed and constructed.
An idea is considered an invention when it can be described with sufficient detail so that someone working in the field that your design falls in could reasonably reproduce it by using the description of the invention in the patent application. It is not necessary to have a working prototype to file for a patent. Nor does the information provided in a patent application need to have blueprint level detail. However, it is necessary to be able to describe the product in detail, including sketches that explain your inventive contribution.
This is where we come in. At Four Elements Product Development our engineers will work with you in designing conceptual drawings of your invention. We will work with you in laying out a framework for your invention by putting details down in writing that will allow our patent to file a patent application in your behalf.
The Benefits of Filing a Patent
Filing a provisional patent application gives you the right to say that you have a “patent pending.” This is especially important since the patent laws in the United States have changed. Now, it is not the first individual to invent a product who is able to claim it, but instead the first individual to file a patent who received credit for it. A well prepared provisional patent application that gives sufficient details about the product will establish priority and help you protect your idea and your invention.
Filing the provisional patent application is less expensive than filing a non-provisional patent application. Provisional patent applications are perfect for clients who have a limited budget. They are also perfect for individuals who are inventing multiple products at the same time. Even uber, giant, mega tech companies cannot afford to patent every single invention they make.
Filing a provisional patent gives our clients the opportunity to work with us in perfecting the design. It gives our clients an opportunity to see if there is a market for the product they are creating. It allows them to move forward in the design and manufacturing process in a responsible way that allows them to protect their rights once they reach the point where they have something that merits a patent.
Provisional patents allow our clients to market their product, generate cash, and then proceed with further design and patent activities. A provisional patent is an intermittent step on the road to filing for a non-provisional patent.
Filing a Non-Provisional Patent
Eventually, our attorneys will file a non-provisional patent for clients with the US Patent and Trademark Office. In fact, in order for the provisional patent to have weight, a non-provisional patent must be filed within 12 months of filing the provisional patent.
It is exciting for us to work with clients as we move their ideas across the threshold that turns them into inventions. Our experienced engineering and design team work with our clients every step of the way, helping them create a product that exceeds their expectations. Our legal team works with them to see to it that their invention is protected by law.