How to Start a Patent

By Tamara Runzel
Steps to apply for a patent.

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According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a patent is a property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. It is very important to start and secure a patent, so you can claim the rights to your invention or creation.

Determine which patent your invention falls under. There are three types of patents for which you can file: utility patent, design patent and plant patent.

File your application online or submit it by mail. Both processes require the same information. To file online, go to uspto.gov. Or mail your application to: Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

Type a clear description of your creation. Include the title of your invention on a separate page. Include a signed oath that states you believe you are the first inventor of the item.

Include a drawing if one goes with your invention. Use black ink unless instructed to use color.

Enclose all necessary fees. These include filing, examination and search fees. Fees vary depending on what type of patent you file for and if you have to pay a small entity fee. The cost can range from $460 for a design patent to $1,090 for a utility patent.

About the Author

Tamara Runzel has been writing parenting, family and relationship articles since 2008. Runzel started in television news, followed by education before deciding to be a stay at home mom. She is now a mom of three and home schools her two oldest children. Runzel holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from University of the Pacific.

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