How do you obtain a patent?

A patent is obtained by filing an application with a fee, having it examined, responding to any objections the examiner has found, and paying a fee to have the patent issued. You must do this for each country in which you desire patent protection. This usually takes two or three years, and often longer.

The laws and regulations for all the parts of an acceptable patent application are very complicated and certain mistakes can leave you with a complete loss of protection of your invention, forever, worldwide.

If you have what you think is a valuable idea, you should immediately discuss it with a patent attorney. In today's world, all but the simplest patent application, drafting, and processing (called "prosecution") requires the assistance of a patent agent or a patent attorney.

It is also important to realize that many products contain numerous inventions, each of which, may be patented separately. Therefore, you often cannot patent a product easily. Some modern sneakers, for example, may contain four or five patents, three or four trademarks, and a few trade secrets.