Helpful Hints for Filing Utility Applications

Is your invention patentable?

The subject matter of a patent is a process, machine, manufacturing process or composition of matter that is novel and not obvious. The invention must be developed enough so that the patent attorney can describe how it is made and used. A patent is not granted on an idea, but rather on a developed product, process or composition of matter. The patent must be filed within one year of the invention being publicly disclosed or published. To make sure your idea is protected, timing is critical!

How do you begin the patent process?

Before you visit a Patent Attorney, write a description of your idea, and provide as many details as possible. Try to explain why your idea is novel and how it different from existing processes, machines, or compositions. Provide some black and white line drawings, computer renderings, or photographs, if possible. If you have a prototype of the concept, bring it to your initial meeting with a Patent Attorney.

How can you best protect your idea?

Priority in the U.S. is granted to the first Applicant to file the invention with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). It therefore is important to file as soon as your concept is ready. You can file a provisional patent application with a description and drawings to secure a priority date. The provisional patent application has minimal USPTO filing fees. The Applicant has one year from the filing of the provisional application to perfect the invention and file a more complete extensive utility application or any international applications.

How do you select a Patent Attorney?

Employ a Patent Attorney with extensive experience who will honestly access if the invention has the potential to be patentable. You will benefit from an advisor who will guide you efficiently through the process and with whom you will develop a personalized relationship. Each of the Patent Attorneys at Collard & Roe, P.C. has over 20 years of experience. The Collard & Roe Patent Attorneys will apply their extensive experience to provide personalized service and guide you to obtain the broadest protection possible.

Is the invention novel?

A patent search is often advisable to learn other inventions in the area which is referred to as “prior art.” It allows the Applicant to learn if the invention is unique, in order to avoid unnecessary patent application expenses. A search will also allow the Applicant to define the invention over the existing art in the area.

How can you expedite the patent process?

The patent process in the United States takes many months and typically a few years. It is important to select a Patent Attorney with whom you can build a strong personal working relationship during the lengthy process. A Patent Attorney with extensive experience, such as the team at Collard & Roe, P.C., will use your resources efficiently, respond in a timely fashion to USPTO requirements and deadlines and be guided by your unique goals.

How can you minimize costs?

When you hire a Patent Attorney learn about the attorney’s fee structure. Never hesitate to ask for cost estimates. Collard & Roe, P.C. is focused on minimizing its fees by keeping its operating costs low and employing up-to-date technology. File applications with all of the necessary formal papers to avoid extra filing fees. When the USPTO issues Office Actions, respond by the first deadline whenever possible, to avoid extension of time charges.  

Call the attorneys at Collard & Roe, P.C. at 516-365-9802 or contact us online to schedule a consultation regarding utility patents.