Does My Idea Qualify For Patenting?
How to Find out if Your Idea Qualifies for Patenting

If you think you have come up with a great invention worthy of commercial marketing and consumption, then you just have accomplished the first step to making a good business for yourself. Though it is true that you can sell your idea or concept even without getting a patent, the danger there is that you are allowing your product to go into the dog-eat-dog world of manufacturing without ensuring that it is protected.

Once your technology hits stores without a patent, those who are looking to steal and reproduce it will have free rein in doing so, and you would not have the protection or even the power to use legal action.

Protection of your patent is part of the invention process, but first, you have to make sure that your technology concept qualifies for patenting.

Inventions that qualify for a patent
With the many inventions and concepts that are churned out by creators every day, it is necessary to have a system of identifying which ones are protected. When it comes to protecting the rights of an individual to claim an invention as his own, there are three classifications that you have to remember.

The first is that patents are applicable only to a specific set of inventions that are useful for commercial marketing and reproduction. Your invention should fall under any of the following categories: a new and useful product, a breakthrough process manufacturing (as in medicines), an improvement on an existing product or process, a new method that deals with the process of testing or manufacturing, computer technology or software, or new chemical compounds or compositions.

You may be wondering why other creations such as literary compositions or artworks are not included in the list for patentable products. This is because those that fall under the arts and music, such as literature, music and lyrics, and artistic works are protected by a copyright. For logos, taglines, brands, and company-owned illustrations, they are registered under a trademark to keep other companies and corporations from stealing them and making offshoot materials.

What are the types of patents?
When you want to apply for a patent, you should also know what the different types of patents are, so you can correctly file your invention under the correct one.

There are three basic types of patents that you have to become familiar with. The most known and most applied for type is the utility patent. This type of patent protects the rights of an individual to a new invention, technology or machine that he has invented. When dealing with a utility patent, you have to know that it only lasts for 20 years, and this time period starts on the day that the patent was granted. The protection for your product also starts on this first day.

Another type is the patent for a design, which protects a product’s original outer design. Take care to remember that the grant only lasts for 14 years then you can see if a renewal for that patent is still possible or even applicable.

The last type of patent is the plant patent, which is reserved for the rights of individuals who may discover a new species or type of plant. However, the individual must also be capable of reproducing the discovered plant via grafting and cutting. The distinction of the newly discovered plant should also be proven different from those that are already classified.

Should you apply for the patent?

Now that you know what patents are for and what are the types of patents that you can apply for, the next step is to know if your invention or technology is qualified for patenting.

There are several requirements that you have to crosscheck to make sure that you will not go through the hassling process of getting a patent for nothing.

Your invention must be useful in the sense that it is a new kind of technical or industrial process, a breakthrough method of business, or a previously undiscovered technology, machines, or chemistry. The discovery must also be properly functioning according to the inventor’s claim.

Today, it is harder to be the proponent of something uniquely different, but even if you are patenting something that is similar to a previous work, you have to make sure that there is a substantial difference for it to be considered in patenting.

In case you have already presented a novel invention to the public without a patent, you are given a year to do so. Otherwise, if someone else comes up with a similar but patented idea, rights will go to that person. This would be a disadvantage because not only can you not have yours patented, but you will also not be able to sell your invention to a market.

Tips for inventors
In the event that you find a similar patent when applying, do not be easily discouraged. This can only mean that there is a market for the kind of technology that you came up with. As long as there is a significant difference between your designs, your patent will still be granted.

Just remember these simple tips when you want to apply for the patent.

Do a patent search to know if the invention that you have come up with has not yet been patented. Otherwise, you will just be wasting time and may likely be denied.

Keep mum about your technology and don’t present it to others until you have gotten the proper patent protection for it. Someone might beat you to the punch.

When selling your idea, do not easily give up if a few of your market or manufacturers turn down your technology. Some people are just not ready for breakthrough inventions, but when you land the right deal, you can get the credit and compensation you deserve.

Invention goes hand-in-hand with legal responsibilities. It is better to protect your intellectual property rights to avoid being knocked down by prowling copycats so you can fully enjoy your invention and the money which it brings.

Disclaimer: It is the inventor's responsibility to research and vet companies before entering into a business relationship with any company. InventMyIdea does not provide warranties or guarantees for services offered by any company.