Monday, March 30, 2009

Patent Process

Last April I applied for a provisional patent for the Bubele Loop. By applying for a provisional patent, an inventor is able to cut costs and is given a full year to test the market with the new invention. Well, my year is almost up! I prepared the patent paperwork myself which is not advised but given that I do not have thousands to spend on a patent attorney, this was my only option. I spent hours researching the right way to prepare the required documents and I used an online manual provided by the website.

I did the search on my own because this can be an expensive process. A search is when you spend countless hours searching any similar terms to your invention through filed patents. It is recommended that you pay for the search before you file because if you file and then their search comes back with a similar invention then you get denied and you lose the filing fee. But, since I was able to file as a "small entity" it only cost $82 to file for a non-provisional patent. The search would have cost more than this so it works out better in my situation just to go ahead with the filing process.

It is exhausting going through all the information needed, but it will be worth it in the end if a patent is granted and I was able to save all that money! Some worry that if they file the documents themselves that it will be rejected but I filed my own provisional patent and I filed my own trademark application and even though I had to fix a few errors and pay an extra fee, it was still a ton less than hiring a lawyer.

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