What is required to file for a patent? 12 Answers as of June 02, 2013

I have an idea for a product that would be a simple household good. I do not have a prototype built, but I do have designs drawn and I can explain its design and use. Can I file for a patent without actually having built my invention?

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DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
Yes. Prototypes are useful but are not required to file a patent. Two requirements of the patent law are that the applicant/inventor fully describes their invention using words and figures to demonstrate that she/he had possession of the invention, and that the written description describes the invention is such detail that a person of skill would be able to make and use the claimed invention.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 1/3/2012
Edam Law PLLC
Edam Law PLLC | Edmar Mauricio Amaya
A patent application is one of the most complicated legal documents to write. To begin with you need to know what kind of patent you need for your invention. There are several types, design, utility, and plant. If it is a household good I strongly suggest to do a patent search. Patentability searches are encouraged on household products. See, one of the requirements for patentability is novelty or that the product is new and has not been patented anywhere in the world. Usually, humans invent things in different locations on earth about the same time when they are faced with similar problems. Even if we find something close to your invention we can always reengineer and design around your invention. Yes, we can file a patent application without the creation of a physical prototype. Actually when I file my patent applications, I try to show as many examples of similar goods or modifications of your invention to cover as much ground as possible. Nevertheless, creating a prototype is important, and therefore we draft out patent drawings in 3D, creating virtual models that are ready to be printed in 3D printers or stereo lithographic machines. We can help you create a prototype. There is nothing like having a prototype in your hand, something you can actually test.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/28/2011
Law Office of Thomas Williamson
Law Office of Thomas Williamson | Thomas Williamson
You do not need a prototype to file an application for a patent. However, you must be able to describe how to make and how to use your invention adequately to enable someone to make and use it. Utility Patent - protects structure and/or function of a useful device, process, machine or composition of matter - The first step that we recommend is a patent search with a patentability opinion to see if the invention has been done before and what else is similar. The search is optional, but recommended. The cost of the search depends on field of the invention and the simplicity/complexity. Assuming that the invention is patentable and that you wish to proceed, the next step is preparation and filing of a patent application. Again, cost depends on field and simplicity/complexity. Design Patent - protects only the ornamental aspects (appearance) of a useful device - Much lower cost, but less protection as it is only the appearance that is covered. We provide flat rates for searches/opinions and for preparation and filling of patent applications.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 12/28/2011
Yang & Wang, P.C.
Yang & Wang, P.C. | Tommy Wang
Yes, you can file a patent application even if you do not have a prototype built yet.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/27/2011
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
A prototype is not required to file or be awarded a patent. You or a licensed patent agent or attorney must prepare the required documentation and file the application with the patent office. If you would like to prepare file the application yourself, visit the patent office web site.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/27/2011
    Shimokaji & Associates
    Shimokaji & Associates | Michael Shimokaji
    Yes, a prototype is not needed to file a patent application. Your written description and drawings should be sufficient to enable a person skilled in your technology to make and use the invention.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
    Yes, you can apply for a patent without a prototype. Your drawings and descriptions are great for use in the patent application. For a good do-it-yourself software, you can search for "PowerPatent" on line and download the beta patent application software in the site. That way you save money because when you visit your attorney, you have the description he needs and that is a great start for the attorney to understand the operation of your invention.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Barton Barton & Plotkin
    Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
    You do not need a prototype but you must describe your invention with sufficient detail to teach a person of ordinary skill in your industry how to make your product.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Brett J. Trout, P.C.
    Brett J. Trout, P.C. | Brett J. Trout
    You can file a patent without a prototype, as long as you can describe the invention sufficiently to allow someone else to build it without undue experimentation. To obtain a strong, broad patent, the cost can be rather large. Even a good simple patent will cost $9,000 or more. There are cheaper alternatives, but I have not found them to result in worthwhile patents. To file a patent, you need a detailed description of the invention, the signature of the inventor, the filing fee and a drafted patent application. No two patent attorneys will draft the same patent application. Some will draft good applications, some will draft bad applications. The value of your patent depends in large part on the quality of the application.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    The Law Offices of Mark Trenner
    The Law Offices of Mark Trenner | Mark Trenner
    You can file a patent application without having actually built a prototype, provided you can describe your invention in sufficient enough detail so as to enable one having ordinary skill in the art to practice the invention. For example, if the invention is for software, you do not need to actually write the code for the software product, but you must be able to describe the features and operation of the software product in sufficient detail such that a computer programmer could write the code without undue experimentation. The particular level of description required to enable your invention will depend in some part on the details of your invention, and therefore you should discuss the specifics of your invention with a patent attorney in order to get proper guidance for proceeding to protect your invention.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Mark S. Hubert PC
    Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/2/2013
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