Should You Patent Your Product?

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Copywriting | 1 comment

Should You Patent Your Product?

Do you have an absolutely brilliant idea that no one has ever thought of or executed before? Perhaps you might be considering patenting that idea, but before you do, it’s worthwhile to learn a little more about this process. As with any legal documentation, it can get a bit confusing. For handmade sellers, the idea of protecting their concepts and creations is a very important topic so I thought I’d take a moment today to address what a patent is, what they offer, and whether it is something you should seriously consider. Let’s start with the very basics.

Patent Definition:

A government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.

Well, that’s nice but how does it apply to a handmade seller? There are actually three different types of patents currently recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO):

1. Utility patents cover products and processes.
2. Design patents cover ornamental design.
3. Plant patents cover new types of plants you create.

When researching this topic, I found several highly informative articles on Rocket Lawyer. Patent Law 101 went over the basics of obtaining a patent including the limitations of a patent, the differences between a provisional patent and a regular patent, and a general cost breakdown. As always, I highly recommend checking out the linked source article if you want more detailed information, but for the sake of brevity I’ve included the general cost breakdown below:

Basic Filing Fee: $280

Examination: $720

Search Fees: $600

Patent Attorney Fees: Variable

3.5 Year Maintenance Fee: $1,600

7.5 Year Maintenance Fee: $3,600

11.5 Year Maintenance Fee: $7,400

These numbers are sourced directly from the article above and are from 2014 so remember, this is just an approximation and it is highly likely those numbers are now inflated for the 2017 market.

The second article, “Is My Idea Patent-Worthy”, I reviewed from Rocket Lawyer asked the reader seven questions to determine if yoru idea was worth that type of investment:

1. Is it worth the cost?

2. Did you invent it?

3. Do you own the invention?

4. Is your idea useful?

5. Is it in the category of patentable ideas?

6. Is your idea new?

7. Is your idea non-obvious?

Talk to me and let me know: Have you ever considered a patent? Why or why not? What would keep you from moving forward with it if you had a truly revolutionary idea?

One Comment

  1. 7-12-2017

    I have considered a patent but decided the work and cost was just too much. My husband has 21 patents in the IC industry but those were obtained by the different companies for whom he worked. LOTS of hours of paperwork and research go into obtaining a patent. Also, I started selling my invention before I filed for a patent, I believe you have to file before an item goes on the market. But I’m not into all of that anyway. I just want to make my item and sell it.

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