How To File a Patent to Protect Your Idea
3 minute read
April 19, 2024


If you’re an innovator, you need to know how to file a patent protection application. 

Why? Within every niche or major market, you will find other innovators like you who are trying to improve that industry or secure their place in it. 

Being one of those innovators means you should know that securing a patent is a vital step in safeguarding your intellectual property and ensuring your hard-earned inventions remain your own. 

Tell us about your situation at a free consultation.

What cannot be patented?

Before explaining the patent filing process, it’s essential to recognize what can and cannot be patented. 

According to the USPTO, inventions must be:

  • Novel
  • Non-obvious
  • Useful

However, there are specific categories of inventions that are not eligible for patents, including:

  • Abstract ideas or mathematical concepts
  • Natural phenomena
  • Laws of nature

Understanding these differences helps you refine your idea and ensure it will fit within the patentable criteria, saving you both time and resources.

Steps to file a patent

Filing a patent is a meticulous process that requires detailed preparation and, often, the assistance of a professional. 

Document your invention

Record every step of your invention process, including sketches, models, and prototypes. This documentation should be thorough and dated.

Conduct a patent search

Before filing a patent application, conduct a comprehensive search to ensure your invention is unique—a fundamental step to achieving the criteria of novelty. (Note: You can use the USPTO’s patent database for your search.) 

Decide on the type of patent application

You’ll need to determine whether a provisional or non-provisional patent application is more suitable for your needs. 

  • A provisional application is less formal, cheaper, and does not require a patent claim—it establishes:
    • An early effective filing date 
    • Allows the term “Patent Pending” to be applied 
  • A non-provisional application is more complex and starts the examination process for the patent.

Prepare your patent application

This includes detailed descriptions, drawings, abstracts, and claims of your invention. The claims section is particularly critical as it defines the scope of protection.

File your patent application with the USPTO

You can file your application online or mail your application to the USPTO. Ensure all required fees are paid in full.

Finding the right patent attorney

The complexity of patent law makes finding a knowledgeable patent attorney or agent an essential part of the process. 

Experienced professionals can provide invaluable assistance in preparing your application, conducting a thorough patent search, and navigating the legal and procedural requirements. 

When choosing an attorney, consider the following:

  • Experience in your specific field of invention
  • Track record of successful patent applications
  • Understanding of the latest patent laws and procedures

How to file a patent: The bottom line

In the modern marketplace, protecting your invention requires a clear understanding of how to file a patent, knowledge of what can be patented, and following the application requirements of the USPTO application process. 

In these situations, the guidance of a seasoned patent attorney can often make the difference between your innovations being a success or not.   

Reach out to Stanzione & Associates, PLLC, and start paving the way for future innovation and successes.

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