Over the past few months I've been been giving for to a business idea (an app) that seems very promising. I am in the early stages of building this app and goal is to patent the idea the soonest. I have never done anything like this and the information available online is overwhelming. I'd like to seek mentorship on how to successfully patent this idea. Thank you.
Hello Luis -
Like Joe above, I have several patents, all of which were pursued by various employers over the years. I recently retired (July), but just prior to that I was in a senior position at my former employer in which I served on a patent review board to help review patent applications submitted by our employees to determine if it made sense to spend the money and time to pursue them or not. I agree with Joe that the first step is to spend some time on Google to see if what you are developing is already on the market in some form and/or if someone has already patented something very similar to it. If such "prior art" obviously exists, it will make it more difficult (or perhaps not possible) to patent your idea, or you may have to narrow your claims substantially in order to do so. By doing some searching on your own before hiring a patent attorney, you may save yourself quite a lot of money.
Thank you for your service, and I wish you the best of luck!
Yes, good advice by the others. Take a look on your computer for your State Bar Association or your County Bar Association for Patent Lawyers. Call at least three and ask if they do the kind of work you are seeking and what their charges might be.
Attorney at Law
San Diego, CA.
Please connect with me on Linkedin and I will introduce you to a friend of mine who worked at a law firm in DC as a pattern attorney for 35 years. He now has his own business and have clients internationally. He is currently willing to help a start up for a percentage of the business vs. upfront payment.
This is the patent attorney that one of my clients uses.
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I filed a patent using upwork, and it was a lot of work, but a good experience.
Hello Luis. I don't think I can mentor you, but I can give you some ideas and an overview.
I have a few patents, although my company filed for them. You need to do a patent search, to see if anyone else has already patented the invention. Go to uspto.gov. Check out patent basics first, to learn about patents. Then go to the patent search section and see what has already been patented, to be sure you are not wasting your time. You could pay a patent attorney to do this for you (best), or you could do it yourself (least expense). A patent attorney, is the best way to go if you have no experience with patents, although it is the most expensive.
Software is a bit harder to patent, than hardware. It is best if there is some sort of procedure, that would be the invention, that you could patent.
There are also companies that work with inventors, to file for patents. They will either charge a fee, or they might want a share of any revenues. I have not dealt with these companies, but I know someone that did, and he had a good experience.
Not knowing what your invention is, it is difficult to discuss. Frequently, it is better to be the first one to market. with an idea/invention, even if it is not patented. Patents are NOT required to sell a product, but they do offer protection against competitors copying an invention.
Apps are frequently created, and given away during the development phase. This allows feedback from users, to improve the design, and get bugs worked out. Then the apps are frequently sold, and that is a source of revenue (and possibly advertising revenue as well). You can write the app, or you can pay someone to write it. Just be sure you get full rights to the final source code, and the paid developer relinquishes all rights to the final code.
Hope these ideas help. Happy holidays.
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