When you have a well-developed idea for an invention, acquiring a patent can be a good idea. Obtaining a patent will give you the right to take legal action against anyone who infringes on your patented invention. Your patent application could be weakened or lost if your invention is not adequately described.

What are some easily preventable mistakes?

Mistakes can limit the protection a patent gives you. To increase the chances of receiving approval, you should work with a patent professional who will work with you to understand your invention, and your business goals.  Some inventors try to prepare and file patent applications on their own, but often make one or more of the following patent mistakes:

  • Failing to meet the requirements: For your invention to be patentable, it needs to be both new and non-obvious, compared to what others have done.
  • Searching in the wrong places: While what others have done product-wise (via, e.g., Google searches) can affect your ability to get a patent, searching of patent databases is also a good idea.
  • Narrowing your range too much: When describing your product, inventors can provide details for aspects of the invention that are not enough, or not relevant, to help getting the patent approved.
  • Missing deadlines: There are many critical deadlines in the patent world, including the timing of filing a patent application relative to other activities you might take to commercialize your invention.

Avoiding these mistakes could help your application be approved and join the other 52.8 percent of patents approved last year, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

If you have come up with a potentially patentable invention, you would be well-advised to contact a patent attorney.