Can you get a patent without a prototype [Detailed Response]



Last updated : Aug 25, 2022
Written by : Edgar Eerkes
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Can you get a patent without a prototype

Can you patent an idea without a product?

The simple answer is no—you cannot patent an idea for an invention. The invention itself has to be produced or a patent application containing the invention must be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While all inventions start with an idea, not every idea can be called an invention.

Can you sell an idea without a prototype?

Do you need a prototype to sell your idea? No, you don't need a prototype to sell your idea. However, that would be a good idea to show that the idea works, aka proof of concept. The prototype is a part of your pitch to sell your idea.

How do you patent an idea before a prototype?

  1. Step 1 – Verify the Idea is Eligible For a Patent.
  2. Step 2 – Keep a Detailed Record of Everything.
  3. Step 3 – Make a Prototype.
  4. Step 4 – Apply For a Provisional Patent.
  5. Step 5 – Hire a Patent Attorney.
  6. Step 6 – File Your Patent Application.

Can you patent just an idea?

You cannot get a patent just based on an idea. You must show how your invention works. In addition, your invention must be new (or "novel" in the parlance of patent lawyers). This means it must be different in some important way from all previous inventions in that field.

What is a poor man's patent?

A poor man's patent is essentially writing out a description of your invention and then mailing that written description to yourself. This postmarked envelope supposedly acts to create the date of your invention as the date this written description was postmarked.

Can a manufacturer steal your idea?

Ideas alone are not protected under intellectual property law. There are two primary ways that you would be able to sue the company for stealing your idea. The first is if you did, in fact, reduce the idea to a protectable form before telling the company about it.

How much does it cost to patent an idea?

Need Help? A patent attorney will usually charge between $8,000 and $10,000 for a patent application, but the cost can be higher. In most cases, you should budget between $15,000 and $20,000 to complete the patenting process for your invention.

How do I protect my idea without a patent?

If you determine that the invention is probably not patentable, the most effective way to protect yourself is to have prospective licensees sign a nondisclosure agreement before you reveal your invention. This document is sometimes called an "NDA" or a "confidentiality agreement," but the terms are similar.

Does my company own my ideas?

Typically, employers are entitled to all intellectual property created at/for their business, unless there exists a contract stating otherwise.

Should I prototype or patent first?

Many inventors wonder if they need a prototype prior to patenting an invention. The simple answer is “no'. A prototype is not required prior to filing a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office. While prototypes can be valuable in developing your invention, they can also be costly.

Do I need a prototype?

In general, if your invention can be prototyped for a relatively low cost, it is usually beneficial to go ahead and create the prototype. However, if you think you may license your patent rights, it is likely that the licensee will make design revisions to your invention.

How much does it cost to patent a prototype?

The cost varies, depending on the size of your business; according to USPTO, the provisional application filing fee for a micro-entity is $70, for a small entity is $140, and for a large entity is $280.

What things Cannot be patented?

  • literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works.
  • a way of doing business, playing a game or thinking.
  • a method of medical treatment or diagnosis.
  • a discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method.
  • the way information is presented.
  • some computer programs or mobile apps.

What makes an idea patentable?

To be patentable, the invention must be statutory, novel, useful, and nonobvious. Certain requirements, such as novelty and non-obviousness, may involve conducting a preliminary patent search with the assistance of an attorney or agent.

Do you have to prove something works to get a patent?

Generally speaking, a working model isn't necessary in order to receive a patent. However, there's a catch. The USPTO has the right to ask for a working model (under 37 C.F.R. 1.91), and can withhold the granting of a patent until that model has been made available for their examination.

What's the cheapest way to get a patent?

  1. Do-It-Yourself (Draft it and File it Yourself)
  2. Cost of Filing It Yourself.
  3. Still To Expensive?
  4. Cost of Filing It Yourself.
  5. Fiverr & Other Low Cost Options.
  6. If Budgets Allow - The Better Option Is to Use an Attorney.
  7. The Cost of An Attorney.

How long does a patent last?

A U.S. utility patent, explained above, is generally granted for 20 years from the date the patent application is filed; however, periodic fees are required to maintain the enforceability of the patent.

Can you copy a patent for personal use?

In the US, if you make or use an object that includes all the elements of the claims of a granted patent, then you are infringing that patent. It does not matter whether you share the object or attempt to make money from it—simply making or using it is enough to qualify as infringement.

Can someone steal my idea if I have a patent pending?

What Is Patent Pending Infringement? As soon as you file a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), your invention is "Patent Pending." Once your application is submitted, nobody can steal, sell, or use your invention without your permission.

Does a poor man's patent hold up in court?

Even under the old system, i.e., the “first to invent” system, a “poor man's patent” standing alone, i.e, without a patent application, was worthless. You cannot access the court system and ask a judge or a jury to enforce a right that the U.S. Government does not even recognize as a right.


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Can you get a patent without a prototype


Comment by Cleta Brotzman

hi i'm john rizvi the patent professor i'm often asked whether you can get a patent without having a prototype and the answer is absolutely you don't have to have a working model or prototype of your idea in order to get a patent all that is needed is the ability to describe how your invention is made and used if you have rough sketches of your concept that would definitely help but it's not necessary the problem in waiting for a prototype to be developed or working on a working model is that while you are perfecting your idea somebody else might race to the patent office and file first and this is because in 2013 the us underwent the single biggest change in patent law in this century we moved from a first to invent system which rewarded the first inventor to a first to file system and today it doesn't matter who invented first if they are beaten to the patent office by somebody else who gets their application in first as such if you have a new idea it's essential that you race to the patent office and get your filing in because if you focus on your prototype while you're putting around getting the prototype perfected somebody else may just end up owning the idea and preventing you from doing anything with it so file for the patent first and then you can take your time on perfecting the prototype you can make changes you can make modifications and you can do all of these things while you're fully protected if you have other questions give me a call


Thanks for your comment Cleta Brotzman, have a nice day.
- Edgar Eerkes, Staff Member


Comment by Candie

today's question was from Ron Ron asked I have a PPA a provisional patent application do I need a prototype in order to get a licensing deal good question Ron so from my understanding a licensing deal is really the result of reaching an agreement with a licensee so really you don't necessarily need a prototype or anything else it's just a matter of agreeing with that licensee that they will pay you royalties if your product sells so in some cases a licensee may want to see and prove that your idea actually works that your product will sell things like that you can do that not only with a prototype you can pitch to a licensee and sell your product to them using something as simple as a sell sheet which is like an advertising document you know letter size or a4 that highlights the benefits of your product maybe shows how it's used defines how it's different how it's unique and better than what's on the market and how it will get that that company to the next level and beat the market now if you're interested in making prototypes there's a little more to know we'll have a lot of sessions on prototyping in the inventor school but for now you can focus on how you make sell sheets really effective so one of the ways you can do that is to use some simple prototypes very cheap and DIY quick prototypes these can be something like a hacked version of an existing product where you take a product off the shelf make your small changes that make your product unique and then demonstrate that product as a new prototype that's totally legitimate you can also make looks like prototypes like they look like the final product but they don't actually work so you can use that to either demonstrate your product in a video or to take photos and Photoshop them in your cell sheet it can really help to show licensees or anyone else you're marketing to that you know the context of your idea and make it more real more believable you're really you know you are selling this and so you know a lot of sales is getting someone to believe you so these are part of the approaches of using prototypes now so really the bottom line is no you don't need a prototype especially writing them in the beginning one of the best things to do is to get some initial feedback from a licensee on whether they like your idea whether they want your idea certainly don't run out and spend a lot of money on a prototype until you've guaranteed to some extent that it's going to be worth something to someone real effective prototyping is to start cheap and validate and then go on to more professional level prototypes so yeah that's it and even sometimes your licensee may want to prototype it themselves they may have professionals that they work with to validate inventors designs to make sure that they work properly because at the end of the day you only make money as an inventor when the product sells so it's in your best interests to test the idea go step by step and stick with it Thanks I hope that was helpful see you next time


Thanks Candie your participation is very much appreciated
- Edgar Eerkes


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