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How To File A Patent Application

Aug 17, 2007
Increasing instances of counterfeiting and introduction of the marketing of goods or concepts with minor changes has forced original authors or creators to get their products, designs, or ideas patented.

Obtaining a patent typically takes about two years. However, minor or major changes leading to an increase or a decrease in the specified duration must be accounted for. Also coupled with the unanticipated changes are the associated legal procedures that could further complicate the overall process.

Do Your Research
Before applying for a patent, it is essential to undertake a thorough search and check if anybody else has already patented the product or concept. It is advised to do so becaue if this is ignored it might waste time and other resources spent in applying a patent, which is sure to be rejected

The already patented concepts can be checked. The applications in process can be accessed. Any patent application is not made public for 18 months unless otherwise desired by the applicant who can request an early publication. Whatever is the scenario the applications that have not been made public cannot be referred.

How to Apply
Patents can be applied or through professionals or all by yourself. The grueling formalities and associated official work suggest that it is better to approach through a professional, who could be a patent attorney or a patent filing agency.

In any of the mentioned situations, the process remains unchanged and the key steps are outlined below.

1. File the patent applications along with prescribed fee in the relevant department of the patent office.

2. These applications are diligently examined and the first examination report is provided to the applicant along with the suggestions or the objections.

3. The applicant is supposed to meet the desired objectives and it is best if it is met within 12 months.

4. In an adverse situation where an applicant is unable to comply with the objections, the application can be abandoned.

5. Once the objections have been complied with, the application is published in the official journal.

6. This is the time for filing oppositions, though a hearing is not a mandate.

7. Subsequently, if the application is in order and all the obligations have been sought, the patent is filed and it is open for public inspection.

8. The duration from the date of inspection to one year thereafter stands as the time of opposition on considerable grounds.

9. Another feature recently added to this domain is the provisional application. This application provides applicants with a time period of about 12 months to undertake a necessary search before filing full applications. The same has been created by GATT legislation.

Additional Help
You can get certified professionals to take care of the filing on your behalf. These agents are as qualified as attorneys. Both need to pass the same test, and can file your application on your behalf. Agents are typically cheaper than attorneys. Before using any of the mentioned alternatives, make sure to sign requisite confidentiality agreements.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com.
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