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The Top 5 Things Inventors Need to Know About Patents

8580492_20160727_02140601.jpgIn 1790, the cost of a patent was approximately $5. However, in the last two centuries a lot of things have changed. Not only has the price of a patent increased, the processes have become far more complex.

Whether you're a solitary inventor or part of a startup, it's important to have a basic knowledge of patents and the application process. To help you avoid unnecessary roadblocks, here are five things you absolutely need to know before applying for a patent.

Be Careful What You Say

If you choose to represent yourself as an inventor in a patent application, you will have to endure the admissions process all by yourself. Without the help of an experienced patent attorney, you might get lost. Don't forget: everything you say in a patent application can and may be used against you.

Don't Wait to File

The United States ranks ninth in patents worldwide, and is known as a "first to file" nation. U.S. patent laws have changed in recent years, and if one of your rivals has a patent attorney speeding their application along, you could miss out on your big break.

Remember: first to file means file first!

Provisional Patent Applications Can Be Very Helpful

While there's no such thing as a provisional patent, there is such thing as a provisional patent application. This concept was put into practice with the hope that it would give inventors more leeway to apply for a patent without the large fees associated with the process.

Patent Drawings

Patent attorney services cannot stress enough how important it is to include multiple patent drawings and illustrations in your application. While all applications require at least one, the more you have, the better. If your application is extremely well-detailed, you have a better chance of being granted the patent.

Be Specific

Sometimes, would-be inventors try to file a patent when they really only have a vague concept in mind. Don't contact patent lawyers and ask them to help with your application before you're ready. You should only file for a patent if you can be as specific as possible when discussing your creation.

From 1998 to 2010, the number of annual patent applications in the United States doubled to almost 520,000. That number is only increasing in our new digital world, so keep these five things in mind when reaching out to a patent attorney.

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