What Are the Basics of the Patent Process? P.2
In our previous post, we began speaking about the initial steps an entrepreneur would take in the patent process. We’ve already spoken about identifying the type of protection needed and conducting a patent search to determine whether the patent is available.
Assuming the patent is available, the next step in the process would be to actually prepare and submit an application. In this step, it is important to get a general understanding of how much the patent will cost and how long it will take, as well as whether one will be working with an attorney in submitting the application.
It is important to understand that patent applications require not only knowledge of the scientific and technical aspects of the item to be patented, but also understanding of patent law and the procedures used in the patent process. Working with an experienced attorney obviously gives one the ability to better navigate the process and to leave nothing out of an application. This can translate into fewer problems for the applicant.
Working with an attorney can be especially helpful to ensure the application is complete from the beginning so as to avoid objections from the patent examiner. Overcoming these objections is necessary to ensure receipt of approval of the patent.
After a patent is approved, of course, it needs to be maintained. This involves regular payment of fees, keeping the patent status updated, and reinstating the patent when it expires, if necessary. Maintaining a patent, by extension, also means enforcing it against infringements, which is much easier with the guidance and advocacy of an experienced attorney.