step 1 - patents
In 2011 the United States changed the "First-to-Conceive" rule,
to "First-to-File". Now, like the rest of the world, inventors
will be required to file a patent to lay claim to their inventions.
This means it does not matter when
you thought of the invention
idea, as this no longer is relevant. The only way to secure an idea
now, is to file a provisional or non-provisional patent application.
Before you run out and file a patent, you will want to begin with a US Patent
Search. This is typically the first service we provide to our clients.
A Patent Search will help to verify if your invention is, or is not, new/novel.
There are over 7 million patents on file at the US Patent Office and
less than 1% of those are ever developed and brought to market. Just
because you cannot find the product in stores, does not mean you are
free to develop the invention. You have to be sure it hasn't been
patented by someone else first to avoid infringement.
Using your invention description, we search through all of the patents on
file at the US Patent Office to find anything similar. A copy of each
relevant patent is sent to you for review. Most of the time the Patent
Search returns a number of similar patents because there are many
ways to design a product that solves the same problem. Each solution
is potentially patentable. Typically, we are able move forward by
designing around these other patents.
When it comes time to file for patent protection, the quickest and most
cost-effective patent is a Provisional Patent. This secures the invention
idea as yours, allows you to legally claim Patent Pending and gives
you one year to file for full patent protection. (non-provisional)
Here are the main advantages of filing a Provisional Patent as taken
from the Patent Office web site:
- provides simplified filing with a lower initial investment with one full year to assess the inventions commercial potential before committing to the higher cost of filing and prosecuting a non-provisional application for patent
- establishes an official United States patent application filing date for the invention
- permits one years authorization to use "Patent Pending" notice in connection with the invention
not comfortable filing a Provisional Patent yourself, Aiello Designs
can help. This help is free for clients who utilize our services to
Design and Engineer their products. Most attorneys charge thousands
of dollars for the same service.
Please note, if you publicly show or sell your invention more than one year
before you file for a full patent, your patent application may be
denied. Also, if you let the 12-month Provisional Application expire,
you may lose your patent rights. So a Provisional Patent should not
be entered into lightly.
Even if you have Provisional Patent protection, you should have people
sign a Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreement before you disclose
the invention details. This will allow you to document exactly when
and with whom the conversations take place. Aiello Designs has a standard
Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreement that is signed for each
and every client soliciting our services.
PHONE: 207-467-9145 M-F, 9-5, EST