As an inventor in Tampa Bay, you want to ensure that your invention is protected from infringement. Your hard work can pay off, but not if someone else steals your idea. To protect your intellectual property, you can register your invention with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To register, you will need to complete the patent application process. Before applying, there are a few important things to know that may affect your case.

Performing a Patent Search Before Applying Is Critical

Patents must be unique according to the USPTO. Applications that are similar to other ideas will be denied. The patent application process is not free. Most people do not want to spend money on filing only to learn that their submission has been rejected because it is too similar to another invention. To prevent this scenario, it is worth your time to conduct a preliminary search. One of the best ways to conduct a patent search is by consulting with an experienced intellectual property attorney. You can prepare a stronger application with the help of a lawyer.

An Attorney Can Improve the Patent Application Process

Many inventors try to complete the patent application process on their own only to face rejection because they missed an essential step along the way. While you can file on your own, it is wise to work with a patent lawyer in Tampa Bay. An experienced attorney can help you identify any missing components of your application, keep you on track for important dates, and help you define your invention in a way that is most patentable.

The USPTO wants to see how an invention is unique, characteristically different, and distinct from any other inventions, and an attorney can help make sure that your submission reflects that.

You Cannot Patent an Idea, But You Can Patent an Invention

Ideas cannot be patented or copyrighted. This means there is no way to protect an idea, legally. However, you should still work on pursuing an idea, and that means making sure that you protect yourself from infringement. Once it is more concrete, you can then complete the patent application process.

When you apply for a patent, you do not need to have a prototype or working invention. You do, however, need a detailed design and description. Many Tampa Bay inventors use a model or prototype to enhance their descriptions, but it is not necessary as long as you can be specific enough in your characterizations. As long as it is unique and you can accurately describe it, you may be able to protect it.

Working with a Patent Lawyer in Tampa Bay Can Save Time and Money

At Larson and Larson, we help inventors from all over Tampa Bay with the patent application process. An attorney can help you write the application, meet deadlines, file paperwork, and respond to any objections from the USPTO. Our full range of services include novelty and infringement searches, application preparation and filing, and prosecution.

To schedule an appointment with an intellectual property lawyer in Tampa Bay, call Larson & Larson today at (813) 223-3226 or contact us online