Patent filing steps although begin by taking your patent application to the patent office. But it also encompasses taking a few prior steps so that your ship sails smoothly. This involves the determination of the type of patent you seek to file with the USPTO. Moreover, you need to ensure whether your invention falls under the patentability criteria.
Do ensure that you prepare the patent draft as per the USPTO norms. This is just to ratify that your patent application passes through every toll-gate of patent prosecution smoothly.
Let us now begin with the steps of patent filing in detail.
The USPTO way of Patent Filing
Patent filing is a stepwise procedure and there is the significance of each and every step. Be mindful of meeting all the requirements and taking up the suggestions given on various steps from time to time.
Determine the type of Patent:
decide the type of patent you seek to file with the USPTO. This includes-
- Utility Patent: protects how a product, process or machine works. Countries offering utility patent protection include the USA, Brazil, China, Greece, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain, Portugal, UAE, Poland, Peru, etc. Utility Patents are valid for a period of 20 years from the date of filing [35 USC 154(a)].
- Design Patent: patent protection granted on ornamental designs of a functional item. The design is in conjunction with an article for fetching patent protection. Their validity period is of 15 years from the date of grant [35 USC 173].
- Plant patent: invention or discovery or asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant. However, this doesn’t include tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. Their validity period is of 20 years from the filing date the same as utility patents.
Draft the Patent Application:
this is one of the most crucial patent filing steps. This is so because after this you can now begin with the actual filing. You can proceed with a provisional application or a non-provisional application. Both types of applications serve different purpose.
Refer to Patent Drafting: A Primary Guide for Beginners to your clarity.
Prefer taking help of an attorney while drafting the patent application and also through other patent filing steps. Since an incorrect draft can take all your chances of getting a patent grant. Moreover, the USPTO itself gives this suggestion.
File your Application
at the time of filing provisional and, the non-provisional application knows the fee of filing beforehand. Also, you can either choose online mode or offline mode of filing the patent application.
- Online mode- this involves the EFS-Web mode of filing the application. This is USPTO’s online portal. Also, it is a safe, simple and secure way of filing a patent application and submitting other related documents. Moreover, it allows submission of PCT–EASY .ZIP compressed files for international applications and ASCII text files for bio-sequence listings.
- Offline mode- You can send the application via delivery by U.S. mail, or hand delivery to the Office in Alexandria, Virginia.
Do verify every detail- specifications, claims, etc. because there is no chance of amendment in the application after its submission in the patent office.
International Patent Filing Steps
If you are seeking patent protection in multiple countries you can simply follow the patent filing steps of PCT application. PCT or Patent Cooperation Treaty is an international treaty with 150 contracting states. Therefore, through this route, you can file a patent application in multiple countries simultaneously. But the granting of patent is in the hands of national or regional patent offices. The international patent filing steps and complete procedure involve:
- Filing of international application: in the national or regional patent office or WIPO. Be mindful of complying your patent application with the PCT requirements, write it in one language and pay one set of fee.
- The International Searching Authority will research your invention and will generate an international search report and a written opinion.
- International Publication: this involves the publishing of your patent application in the Patentscope Journal.
- Supplementary international search and international preliminary examination: these are two optional steps. The examiner conducts these steps on your request to find out the documents which were not there at the time first ISA but helped in carrying out the main search. The international preliminary examination involves conducting a patentability analysis if required again.
- National phase: after the end of the PCT process, your international application enters the national phase. This usually takes place at 30 months from the date of filing or the priority date.
Looking for Patent Filing Assistance- The Patent Filing Company
Before proceeding with the patent filing steps, ask yourself whether you need any kind of assistance. Be mindful of the fact that patent filing demands meeting various requirements and deadlines of the patent office. Therefore, feel free taking professional help for the same and sail smoothly through the patent prosecution process. We, at the Patent Filing Company, have a team of professional patent attorneys and paralegals with years of experience. Our professionals provide assistance in provisional, non-provisional, design patent applications filing. Also, we perform thorough patentability searches and technology evaluation for effectively assessing the potential value and authenticity of the invention. You can learn more by making a quick inquiry.