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What is a Patent Application?

How to Patent an Idea-Types of Patent Application:

US Provisional Patent: A provisional application is an application for patent, once filed, provides you with “Patent Pending’ status, establishes an early filing date, and no one can get in front of your filing date. Provisional patents last for one year, are not examined by the patent office, and the applicant must file a regular (non-provisional) patent application within one year. Provisional patents buy you time to build and test prototype, test market your product or service, market and offer your invention for sale.  A provisional patent application allows you to file without a number of the formal requirements of a regular (non-provisional) patent application. Call to discuss in confidence. Call for a Free consultation! (919)-825-3309 Email

 US Regular Patent Application: A regular (non-provisional) application for patent , once filed, provides you with “Patent Pending’ status, establishes an early filing date, and no one can get in front of your filing date. A regular (non-provisional) US patent application (utility) requires a number of the formal requirements: specification (a detailed written description of the invention), patent drawings (meeting archaic rules), patent claims, signed oath, inventor declaration, and an information disclosure statement. Filing a Non-Provisional Application starts the official examination process with the USPTO to determine if the invention is patentable. Call to discuss in confidence. (919)-825-3309 Email

Need help with a Patent Application?

We are a group of Patent Attorneys serving Raleigh and the surrounding North Carolina cities – Provisional Patent Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Cary, Millbrook, Morrisville, Knightdale, Garner, Bethesda, Apex.

If you are looking for a Patent Lawyer call Grell & Watson.

What is a Patent?

As defined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO):

A US patent application for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the Patent and Trademark Office. A patent refers to a right granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. Moreover, a patent is a property right that gives the patent holder the right, for a limited time, to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, selling, or importing into the United States the claimed invention in exchange for a full disclosure of the invention. In simplified terms, a patent is a way of protecting an invention (any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof).

Therefore, without a patent, anyone can legally make, use, sell or import your invention.  Note that ideas are not patentable, but rather the knowledge of how to make and/or use the idea is patentable. To be patentable the law specifies three primary patentability requirements wherein the subject matter of the invention must be useful, novel and non-obvious.

How to get a Patent -Three hurdles to Patentability

Useful means to have utility as in an invention must be capable of some beneficial use.  Novelty means the invention must be new and an invention, in general, is not new if it has been described in a printed publication, known or used by others, or has been in public use or on sale (what is known). If an invention is not new, then the invention is not patentable. Non-obviousness means if the differences between the invention sought to be patented and the prior art (what is known) are such that the invention as a whole would have been obvious to a person skilled in the subject of the invention then the invention is obvious and not patentable.  As an example obvious non-patentable subject matter includes the following obvious changes substitution of one color for another, or changes in size, or insignificant changes or improvements over what is known.

Patents come in three types – Utility Patents (cover new and useful inventions such as mechanical devices, electronics, medical devices, biotechnology, gadgets, and processes for making things). Design Patents (cover new and ornamental designs of products (articles of manufacture) such as containers, furniture, toys, or house wares). Plant Patents (cover new and distinct plant varieties such as flowering plants, vegetables and fruit trees).

By Patent Attorney Albert MinnPatent Application by Patent Attorney

How to Patent an Idea

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How much does a Patent cost? How to apply for a Patent.

 Cover Sheet US Provisional Patent: Attorney time $700-900 to prep the US Provisional Patent Office filing forms and efile your written description and figure(s), plus ~130 USPTO filing fee. We will draft an Abstract, Alternate Embodiment Clause, Broad Interpretation Clause & a First Patent Claim of your invention and the extent of your patent protection is subject to the material set forth in your invention form and figure(s). Any additional service are at $300 an hour. Time to prep: 1 week ~$830-1030
US Regular Patent Application: Attorney time ~$3.5-12k (estimate) to prep a US utility patent application for a simple single embodiment mechanical invention; however, depends on complexity of your invention, number of drawings, and usefulness of any provisional application/written record of invention, plus a $550-~$1000 USPTO filing fee (depends on no. of claims, figures, total page count), and $100 per drawing draftsman charge. Time to prep: 3-4 weeks.~$4.0-12k. Please note, I can only quote a range since I do not know the details of the invention.

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