|Step 1: Determine what types of patents are applicable
You don’t just apply to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) for a patent. You have to tell
them what kind of patent you want. The kinds of patents are described below. For which of these does your invention
The best-known patent application is the Utility patent. You would apply for this type of patent to protect the
functionality of an invention. A prime example is a broom. It has the function of allowing dirt and other things on
the ground to be gathered more easily than if a person would merely use their hands.
Many things are patentable under the rubric of the Utility patent application other then the common "thing that
has a function." Over the last few years, software has become patentable without the necessity of including the
computer upon which it is going to run. Business plans have also become patentable
With the design patent, you may protect the look of an invention when that look is separable from the thing itself.
A good example of a design patent application is a bicycle rack where in the steel tube to which the bicycle is to
be locked looks somewhat like a snake. The concept of having a fixed locking mechanism for a bicycle is not
patentable because it is known already. Such an invention would be rejected. But what can be protected is the look
of the bicycle rack.
If you have invented a way of making a new or original variety of plant via asexual reproduction you should apply
for yet another type of patent, the plant patent application. It’s a powerful tool in the right situation.
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Application
Depending on the circumstances, it might be advantageous to apply for a PCT Application before applying for a
Utility patent application. Most American, Asian, and European countries are signatories of the PCT, which will
provide you and your invention with a priority date in those countries. Aside from extending your protection beyond
the United States, the PCT is important because the PTO often considers it more quickly than a regular Utility
After identifying which of the above applications will offer you the protection you need, A+ Legal will make
sure your invention passes the “unique” test.
Go to Step 2
Search for patents similar to your idea.
|Did You Know?
You may apply for a patent for your invention.
Inventors may apply for one of two types of patent applications that protect so-called
Contact our Patent Lawyer to ensure you complete the patent
filing process correctly or for violation of your patent rights.