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Written by : Kallie Sturdy
Current : 1980
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what's up guys so today I'm going to be talking about how I got my first patent at 17 and also I'll be explaining how you can apply for your patent and get a patent on your product so this is what we're talking about a United States utility patent and I'm gonna be talking about the way I did it and I'll be only talking about what I know so I'll show it to you here this is the patent that was issued you could see there's a barbell there and this is the product that it was issued on the snap flips barbell collars so I'm gonna tell you about how I got my patent so the process that I follow - then I'll explain step by step what you would do to do the same thing so I started off with not a lot of money had like two hundred bucks and I was in high school and had this idea of a barbell collar that you could use to hold your weights in place so I had made some prototypes this is one of the prototypes here and I thought it was a good idea so wanted to file a patent on it and I wanted to file a provisional patent because a provisional patent is basically a time holder and it says hey I'm here I have this idea and I want to file a patent for it but I'm not quite ready yet so filing a provisional patent sets your spot in line and then you have 12 months from that date to actually file a real patent that can protect your product or idea so the way that I did it was I got some software online it was 150 bucks at the time now it's only 99 dollars for a year so it's called patent wizard put it up right here and you go on patent wizard you download the software and you basically it asks you a bunch of questions like extended response questions about your idea how you make it what it looks like how it works you fill in all that stuff and then I don't know after a couple hours of doing it it prints out your patent for you and at the time I printed it out I mailed it into the USPTO the United States patent trademark office and my spot was saved in line now what you'd actually do is you would make an account online download it to your computer from the software and submit it online if you send it in through the mail now they actually charge you an extra two hundred bucks so it's not worth it so now you would just do it online anyway after I filed my provisional patent I started developing the product more making sure that there was a need for this type of product making sure that people wanted to buy it and I did find that people wanted to buy it so at that point I said okay we need to file an actual utility patent on this product I found some lawyers that were really nice and wanted to work with me and we went through a whole I mean it was a couple months turning our provisional patent that I wrote which I wouldn't necessarily recommend writing your own patent your own provisional patent but I didn't have another option at the time so that's what I did so we took my provisional patent and then we turned it into a utility patent filed it in the office and we actually got it it usually takes between one and three years to get your utility patent issued we filed for expediting the whole patent process it was we paid $6,000 for it looks like it's only a thousand to two thousand dollars now so must have gotten cheaper and what that does is instead of waiting between one and three years it gets done in one year so provisional patents one year and then you file your utility patent after that and in one year you have either an answer yes we have a pet we'll give you a patent on this or no we're not going to give you a patent on this because someone's already made something like this before so after I think it was like eight months or something we had heard back they said we think that you could get a patent on this but you there's some stuff that you would need to change in order to get your patent so we made a couple tweaks to the patent and then it finally got issued we paid some more fees and then we were finally issued a United States utility patent which protected the product and we were basically ready to launch and start selling the product on the market so that's how I did it super quick little you know story about it there's a lot more to it but now I'm going to talk about how you can actually do it so the first step in the process when you're trying to file your patent and the way that I'm going to do this is I'm gonna tell you to file a provisional patent first if you want to go directly in the utility patent more power to you you do that but this is how I did it so first you do a patent search you could go on uspto.gov and you search patent search and then you basically type in descriptive words about what your product your idea or whatever you're trying to patent what it is and you look it up you you look at there you see if anyone has made something or gotten a patent on something similar look on Google see if there's anything similar to what you're doing if you find something similar to what you're trying to patent you're not gonna be able to patent it because someone's already thought of it before in order to get a patent you have to think of something completely new that no one has created before it's never been publicly posted anywhere and no one knows how to do it you're you're the first one that's making this thing so that's the big thing you need to do a patent search and if that checks out and you don't find anyone that's made anything similar then you can go on to the next step you need to figure out what kind of patent you're gonna file you file your provisional first then 12 months past now you're getting ready to actually file your real patent what you need to decide is is it going to be utility is it going to be a design is it going to be a plant patent if it's a product or a new way to do something it's most likely going to be a utility patent so we're gonna be talking about utility patents then what where do you want to file a patent is there just gonna be in the US or is it going to be globally I don't know about filing patents globally so I'm not going to talk about it I'm just going to talk about filing a patent in the US it's gonna be a non provisional patent because you've already filed your provisional patent and the twelve months has passed and it's come time you know maybe like 11 months is passed and it's now it's time to file your actual patent your non provisional utility patent so then you need to decide are you going to expedite it or are you not going to expedite it if you expedite it it's going to get done in one year if you don't expedite it it can still get done in one year but it could take up to three years so that's a choice that you're gonna have to make which comes with a fee the fee is between 1,000 and 2,000 dollars - depends on if you're considered a micro entity or a small entity then who should file it so for the provisional patent I filed that by myself if you have the cash it's probably better to have an actual lawyer file your provisional - but if you don't have the cash and you don't have another option file the provisional yourself but once you get to the actual non provisional once you get to your u
Thanks for your comment Carroll Burba, have a nice day.
- Kallie Sturdy, Staff Member
welcome back in our last video we talked about how ideas are worthless and one of the ways that you can actually make traction and action on your ideas is to get a patent there are lots of different types of patents I have six different patents I've filed provisional patents I've been sued by patent holders I've had patent trolls come after me I've deposed about patents and I'm here to tell you the pros and cons of getting a patent and what the process is if you're an inventor and you have an idea and you want to file for a patent so these are patent cubes from my work at Microsoft you can see thank you for your contribution a little bit about the patent law icon and Microsoft would give these as awards for people for what are called utility patents utility patents are the most basic type of patent and they protect a new type of idea or concept a novel way of doing something and these these particular patents are for work that I did on the Windows XP operating system there are four different types of patents utility patents are the most common the second type of patent is called a provisional patent and a provisional patent kind of hold to your place in line it prevents someone else from jumping ahead of you in taking that idea provisional patent is a lower-cost way of getting a patent the third type of patent is called a design patent in a design patent protects the design the look and feel of something it's not necessarily an invention but it protects how something looks and how something feels so you can imagine the look and feel of a particular car or a particular phone or particular shoe lots of companies that have a particular look and feel for their products will file a design patent to prevent knockoffs from being produced the last patent is called the plant patent unless you're building Audry - you don't really have to worry about that believe it baby it don't now if you're gonna file for a patent you're probably gonna want a patent lawyer filing patents is pretty complicated in terms of the documents that you need to produce the documents are formatted in a very particular way and a patent attorney whose experience with filing patents is going to save you time and money in the process that being said filing patents does tend to be expensive and patents can really rack up in terms of the cost lots of patent processes may cost tens of thousands of dollars so just be aware of some of these costs before jumping in and filing a patent now a couple ways that you can save money on filing a patent is by doing a little prep work before you go to your patent attorney so try to document what your invention does and how it does it write down your thoughts in plain English so it's easy to understand and if you're able to draw and illustrate some of them of how your invention works that's often helpful as well another way to save costs is by filing as what's called a micro entity if you're a solo independent inventor or if you're part of a very small company you can file for micro entity status and that saves you a little bit of money in terms of filing fees with a patent office the patent process itself can take a lot of back-and-forth even once you file a patent you can expect your patent to be rejected and then there's back and forth between your patent attorney and the patent examiner the entire process can often take as long as two or three years so just be prepared for a longer wait so because patents cost a lot of money and they take a lot of time it may not be the best thing for every small business so if you've truly invented something novel and unique something that's really unique and not out there then a patent may make sense it may protect your business from having knockoffs people stealing your idea but in many cases a patent can be a distraction so let's say you go through this process and you get a patent at the end of the day the patent is just a piece of paper and so the question is what do you want to do with this piece of paper there are three main strategies with patents the first is defensive patents and so with a defensive patent you really take that piece of paper and put it in a drawer you're honestly not doing anything you're keeping it there for defense if your company gets sued for some reason in the future you can go into that drawer and use that patent for defense so if someone's suing you for patent infringement you can say ah but I have this other patent it and I could sue you for patent infringement so why don't we all walk away and lots of companies have giant patent portfolios purely for defense to prevent other companies from suing them for patent infringement the other way to use a patent is for offense and that means going after other people who are infringing on your patent but be aware if that other company that you're suing and going after it has their own patent portfolio for defense a they could end up suing you back and B if they do see you back they could invalidate your patent making it completely worthless the third way to use a patent is for licensing and so if you're inventing a product or an idea and you don't actually want to build that product or idea but you want to license that invention to other companies to then go off and build that idea for you that's another way you can charge your licensing fee for your patent so depending on your company early-stage startups may not get a ton of early benefit from filing patents because using them defensively or offensively can be a real distraction to the core business small companies only have a limited set of resources so you may not want to spend those resources on either offensive patents or defensive patent portfolios if you do have a really amazing idea you can file a provisional patent and that kind of holds your place in line until you get better capitalization and more money and so that buys you a year of time to really figure out if you want to go file that full patent if you really have a unique design a unique visual approach to your product you can also file a design patent and those tend to be less expensive as well either way design patents provisional patents utility patents to help you set your company apart in terms of the design the products and the vision of what you're trying to build and I hope patents help you in your quest to build an amazing company I'm Gregg Ray's I focus on technology design and development and if you like that sort of thing hit subscribe thanks so much for joining me till the next one you
Thanks Isaac your participation is very much appreciated
- Kallie Sturdy
About the author
I've studied logical reasoning at Bates College in Lewiston and I am an expert in conservation biology. I usually feel accomplished. My previous job was cost estimator I held this position for 10 years, I love talking about djing and observing silence. Huge fan of Alexa Demie I practice equestrian and collect numismatics.
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