An inventor is not necessarily some eccentric genius who invents a radical new invention. In fact, most inventions today are fairly mundane and are aimed at having practical and simple commercial applications, such as car parts or tools for a factory worker to use. No matter how flashy or mundane, a new invention will need the right paperwork to back it up, and American inventors will find themselves working with the patent office. Patent law dates back in the Western world over 200 years, and today, many thousands of patents are filed every single year. Only a fraction of them will have their paperwork completed and filed, so to obtain a patent, an inventor may want a patent attorney backing them up for their patent application. Something similar may be done for artists such as musicians, and intellectual property practices apply directly to them. This may be done for copyrighting creative material, and intellectual property practice lawyers may be employed to get a copyright set up. And of course, in the case of intellectual property practice violation, the artist may call upon legal assistance.
Filing For a Patent
An inventor who has created the prototype for a new invention cannot simply ask a nearby producer or factory to start producing it. Rather than going straight to the means of production, an inventor will first get all of their paperwork done, and this involves the USPTO. This office received nearly 500,000 patent applications every year, and successful patents fall into use in one or more 12 general industries. While not just anything can get its own patent, qualifications are often broad enough so that any original invention may end up getting the paperwork completed. An inventor may have to be patient with this; around 12 months may pass between filing the patent and getting it approved, if at all. To save time and hassle, an inventor may turn to patent attorneys for help.
An inventor, once his or her prototype is ready, may look up local patent law firms, and musicians and other creators will make use of intellectual property practice law firms. Meanwhile, once a patent lawyer is found and hired, that professional will ensure that the inventor has provided all of the paperwork and has also explained their invention to the lawyer too. The inventor, upon request, may provide blueprints, diagrams, and photographs of the invention, complete with labels. This will show how the invention works and why it is worth producing, and this can prove to the lawyer that it does not violate another invention’s own trademarks or copyrights. The lawyer may help the inventor file this application correctly the first time so that it is not merely rejected due to errors. This can save the inventor a lot of time and trouble, if they don’t have to revise an application and send it a second or even third time.
After the patent has been applied for, the inventor will have roughly a year’s worth of time before the next step. During this time, the inventor may further modify and tinker with their invention to improve the prototype, but they are not allowed to actually add new components, or they will have to submit a new patent application. And during this wait time, the inventor may simply work on another project, and they may have more than one outstanding application at the same time. An inventor does not have to be idle while an application is being reviewed.
Meanwhile, when and if the application is accepted, it will probably be a provisional patent, a non-permanent type meant as a placeholder. This provides time for the inventor to work on and finish the final version of their prototype, and get the rest of their paperwork in line. And once that is done, a more permanent patent, what many Americans colloquially call a “patent,” will be used. This patent will last much longer than a temporary, provisional patent, and once it’s in place, the invention may start being produced at factories or other means of production.