How to Patent Your Idea

Let’s start with a simple understanding. If you have even the slightest suspicion that you want to patent a product, you need to hire and get legal advice from a patent lawyer or a patent agent. This blog is not legal advice. I am not your lawyer or your agent. I am not providing you with any legal advice, representation, or counsel. You and I have no attorney-client relationship. The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to the vocabulary that you will need when you got to a patent attorney and ask him to help you patent your product.

A frequent question from inventors revolves around the issue of “how to patent your idea.” The question of “how to patent your idea” actually illustrates one of the reasons that you need to higher a patent lawyer. In the United States, a patent lawyer is a lawyer who has a science or engineering degree and is registered to represent clients who are applying for patents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A patent lawyer can tell you “how to patent your idea” and can apply for a patent on your product or invention.

The basic answer to the question of “how to patent your idea” is controlled by a statute, 35 U.S.C. §§101-103. “U.S.C.” stands for United States Code, which is the body of federal law that controls how to patent your idea. The sorts of subject matter that can be patented are listed in 35 U.S.C. §101. It states that “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.”

Now, if you go to the patent and trademark office and ask for a patent on your “idea,” the answer is always no. The patent office will tell you that patents on ideas are not available under 35 U.S.C. § 101. One of the tricks how to patent your idea is to explain to the patent office how a patent on your idea fits into one of the categories of 35 U.S.C. § 101. For most people who use a patent lawyer, this isn’t very hard. When an inventor comes to a patent lawyer and asks, “How do I patent on my idea?” the inventor almost always has an idea for some improvement on a thing in the material world. The guy who asks, “How do I patent my idea” for a fishing hook is actually asking for guidance on how to patent a “manufacture” under the statute (e.g., a fishing hook with features that can be described in a patent claim).

So, remember, the key goal for how to patent your idea is to figure out how to fit your idea into one of the statutory categories of 35 U.S.C. § 101.

Remember: This blog is not legal advice. I am not your lawyer or your agent. I am not providing you with any legal advice, representation, or counsel.

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