A patent is a right given to an inventor after he/ she discloses the invention publicly. However, this right lasts for a limited period of time and within this time frame nobody can use the invention commercially without the permission of the inventor. So whether you have an idea for a new line of electronic products or hand and machine tools, the following steps will help you to apply for a patent.
First and foremost, you need to find out that your idea is fresh and unique, i.e. it is not already patented. A thorough patent search will help you to determine that. You can either do this yourself or get professional help from patenting companies like InventHelp. In case you are not opting for professionals, make sure to search for the foreign patents as well. There are a number of online search services that you can refer to for that.
Once you are sure that the idea has not been patented you will need to prepare a basic prototype. This will help you to understand the functionality of your product/ service. Having a prototype also ensures that your idea is close to the final design. However, be very cautious while developing the prototype. Changing any part of this will call for a lot of difficulties after your patent has been filed.
You will also have to define your market. A product/ service that covers only a small market area is hardly commercially viable. You must also consider that preparing the patent will involve certain costs and there would be some legal and business costs as well. Thereby, it is advisable to evaluate your idea before applying for a patent. There are professionals, like InventHelp, that could help you on this.
Though filing for patent is more expensive than applying for a copyright or trademark, it is a better idea if you are about to license your product/ service to some other company. They are of great help during negotiations and can help you to earn higher royalties. For those who want to start their own business will also find patent law helpful. It justifies your investment by eliminating the risk posed by copycats.