What should I do if I have an idea I want to patent? 3 Answers as of July 07, 2011

I have this idea and had it made already, which is the sample. Where do I start? How much is it going to cost to get it started? Do I need a lawyer immediately? How long does the process take and how long does it usually take to get it introduced out there?

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Intellectual Property Center, LLC
Intellectual Property Center, LLC | Ak Shaf
Great question. I would suggest contacting an attorney to discuss your next steps. An attorney can do more than tell you about the patent, they can also in some cases provide sage business and legal advise. Th issue of cost one of the most common questions and creates the greatest misunderstandings. Every case if unique and the price is dependent on the amount of work involved. there is no off the shelf patents. However, depending on the type of patent (utility vs. design/ provisional vs. non-provisional) the cost should range from 1k to under 10k with most utility non-provisional patents for very simple mechanical devices (US only) being under 7.5k. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 7/7/2011
DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
Where to start: a search and survey of the prior art, especially the prior patent art, is a good place to start. The prior art is what was known and previously published, up to the time you made your invention and filed your patent application. Plan on spending between $500 and $1500 on a prior art patent search, conducted by a patent attorney or search firm. Inventors who are appropriately skilled can conduct a fairly good initial prior art patent search on their own. As a patent lawyer, I would say yes, you should involve a patent attorney early, if only for guidance and direction while you do leg work. The entire patenting process can take 2 weeks (in a rush) to 4 months, depending on how well organized you are with your invention and the prior art, and the complexity of the invention. I do not know what is meant by "get it introduced out there".
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/22/2011
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
You are essentially asking a lawyer to tell you how to get a patent and start a business. There are numerous ways that you can conduct general on-line research on this subject. However, you cannot expect a lawyer to answer these very general questions in a way that is meaningful. There are entire law school and business school courses and text books devoted to these questions. The bottom line is this-if you are serious about this project, you must retain a lawyer immediately to advise you. You cannot handle this on your own without a lawyer, and if you make mistakes at the early stages of this project, they could be fatal. How much does it cost? Most competent IP lawyers charge fees of between $400 and $750 per hour, and this project will require many hours of counseling and legal work. In addition to patent and other IP work, you need help setting up your business organization, analyzing legal and regulatory issues, finding investors, conducting patent and IP clearances, and doing many other tasks that are essential to laying the proper foundation for your business. No one can give you an estimate of how much this will cost without meeting you, understanding your invention, and understanding your business and personal objectives. But if you think you can get this idea off the ground for just a few thousand dollars, you are drinking too much Kool Aid (or something stronger).
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/22/2011
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