Kelly Slater’s Four Year Patent Process …
While we are waiting for the horn and green flag, let’s talk about preparing to compete.
I don’t know what was going through Kelly Slater’s mind as he was waiting for his application to get examined, but many inventors get extremely anxious to see what the first response from the USPTO will be. Inventors often are not aware that filing a patent application and getting an issued patent are two entire different things, and that each inventor stands a significant chance of getting rejected by the USPTO.read more
Entrepreneurs and Inventors,
Just a reminder to mark your calendars for this months Inventing Profit meeting. Our theme is “How to Attract Investors”. One of the major problems facing solo inventors is how to fund turning their idea into a profitable product.read more
For most inventors, a utility patent that protects the function of an item is the most powerful patent protection they can get. Unfortunately, utility patent applications are also the most expensive type of patent application, take the longest to get examined, and have the lowest chance of success. How can you stack the odds of success in your favor? Pay attention to this video and also see the video in Prior Art Searches.
What are the odds of success for utility patent applications? Over the past decade the odds of success on a utility patent application have varied from a high around 70% to a low around 40%. Right now the odds appear to be pretty close to 50/50.
How much does a utility patent application cost?
At our firm, we do fixed prices, start to finish, for preparing and filing utility patent applications. These range from around $6,500 for simple mechanical to over $10,000 for more complex electrical and software.
Is there a more cost effective way to do it?
You can file a Provisional Patent Application (see our video on Provisional Patent Applications) for about half the cost of a utility patent application, which gives you patent pending status for one year. However, there are a few Achilles’ Heels with Provisional Applications that you need to avoid.
How long do Utility Patents last?
If you are fortunate enough to get your Utility Patent Application allowed by the USPTO as an issued patent, most Utility Patents are good from 20 years from the date of filing, so an average patent application (not a continuation application) has a useful life of around 17 years.
Only 17 years? My invention is way too valuable to protect for only 17 years!
Think again, 50% of all retail money generated is made from products two years old or less. If you are the proverbial average inventor, you have around 5 years to make money on your invention; beyond that it is likely that competitive products and technologies will surpass your invention and it will not make much money, so don’t worry so much about when your patent will expire, and instead focus your attention on how to make money off your invention during the first five years. (If, however, you were the inventor of the light bulb, hula hoop or internal combustion engine, you will be truly bummed out when your patent expires, but these were not “average” inventions).
Are Utility Patents renewable?
No. Once a patent expires anyone can use your patent as a blueprint to make your invention and sell it, without compensating you. Then again, hopefully you have used Trademarks (link to Trademark video) to build up a strong brand so that even if others can copy your invention, people will want to buy YOUR product over your competitors’ products.