Your Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Software Patents

Inventor coding a software program on their computer

Computer software has revolutionized the world around us and is constantly used to improve and innovate in every industry. Although software is currently the most impactful category of inventions, its place in the US and world patent systems has been the subject of much debate and controversy. Computer software refers to a set of programs…

Read More

How to Get a Patent on a Food Product

A spread of food products

Since the beginning of civilization humans have been innovating upon food and drink. Making jerky from meat, fermenting grapes into wine, and selectively breeding the best grains are all inventions that would be worthy of a patent if invented today. Although humans have been inventing food products for thousands of years, there are still limitless…

Read More

How to Patent a Toy

Shelf full of new toys that were patented

Typically, toys are simple products and relatively easy to manufacture. This makes toys an easy target for others to copy and compete with the original inventor. Obtaining patent rights on a toy is especially important if you wish to prevent others from copying your invention. A quick google patents search places the first granted patent…

Read More

How to Patent a 3D Printed Product

3D printer printing a product

Additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing – is a modern method of manufacturing. Traditional manufacturing methods include injection modeling, machining, forming, and joining. 3D printing varies from traditional methods by using a computer file and 3D printer to print an object in layers from the base up. 3D printing has advantages over traditional…

Read More

How to Get a Utility Patent

Inventor filing paperwork to get a utility patent

The process of getting a utility patent begins with an idea. The inventor refines that idea into an invention by finding a way to implement the idea into the real world. Research uncovers what has already been done and informs the inventor how their invention is different. A prototype of the invention is made, and…

Read More

How Long Does a Utility Patent Last?

Calendar marking how long utility patent lasts

A utility patent has a maximum duration of 20 years after the date the application was filed. Utility patents can expire earlier than this term if maintenance fees are not paid, or a court finds the patent invalid. The purpose of the patent system is to promote development in science. To encourage innovation the United…

Read More

How Much Does a Utility Patent Cost?

Inventor calculating the cost of a utility patent

The cost of a granted utility patent can range anywhere from $755 to over $20,000. The cost of a utility patent varies based on the complexity of the invention, professional services used, and the status of the inventor. Simplified utility patent application cost estimate ($): Type of Fee Cost Preliminary patent search $500-$1000 USPTO fees…

Read More

Utility Patents

Chalkboard with Utility Patents written in chalk

If you’ve ever heard Mark Cuban or Lori Greiner talk about a patent on Shark Tank, there’s a very good chance they were talking specifically about a utility patent. Utility patents make up 93% of all patent applications, making it by far the most common of the three types of patents. What Is a Utility Patent? A utility…

Read More

Types of Patents

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants three different types of patents (1) utility, (2) design, and (3) plant. In 2020 the USPTO received 646,244 total patent applications. Approximately 93% of those applications were utility, 7% design, and less than 1% filed for plant patents. What Are the Different Types of Patents? Each…

Read More

How to Get a Patent

Flow chart of how to patent an idea

Expert tip: Keep a detailed and dated patent journal throughout the whole inventing process. This journal should include any ideas, improvements, refinements, and co-inventors related to the invention and be kept in a secured, non-public location. These notes may be crucial when writing the patent application and determining who invented what. If you run into any…

Read More