Getting a patent for your invention is not something you should blindly rush into. The patent procedure is a strict legal process that features some tough deadlines and you need to know what to do, when, in order to stand the best chance of being granted a successful patent. In order to apply for your patent, first take a close look at the entire patent application process and consult a patent attorney for more guidance. The following steps are broad guidelines for the first part of the patent application process.
- Start the Process
Work with your european patent attorney to collect together the patent request, your details, the details and description of your product, the claims, drawings, and an abstract. It is important that the claims are put together with a great deal of skill and attention to detail, and for this reason it is not advisable to put in your application alone unless you are confident of patent law.
- Complete a Search
Once you have submitted the patent application you are sent a search report that mentions any inventions or products that have been discovered to be similar to your invention, or relevant to your invention. Inside this search report is an initial opinion on whether your invention stands a good chance of being granted a patent.
- Publish the Application
The application is published in databases around the world 18 months after your initial date of filing for the patent. This means that anyone else trying to patent an invention will now have to take your prior invention into consideration when deciding on novelty. Within six months of the publication date you need to decide if you want to follow through with the patent application, and also which countries you will choose to include in the overall patent protection.
- Decision is Made
After extensive examination, a decision is made whether to grant a patent to your invention. If you have paid all your fees and the decision is a positive one, the patent will be reported. Once you have had your patent granted you need to validate the patent in each of the states which you had designated for protection, otherwise you may find that the patent is not able to be enforced.
- Stand Against Opposition
You may have opposition from other people, usually competitors, if they believe your invention should not have got a patent. Opposition is examined by impartial examiners. Any decision on whether or not the invention should have been patented is open to appeal in front of an independent board.