What are the steps to getting a patent in the United States?

Congratulations on creating an app and wanting to take the next steps to protect your work. Here is a brief overview of the steps for obtaining a patent through the USPTO.

First, you need to be sure that no one else has already come up with the same product or technology and secured a patent on it. You do this by performing a thorough patent search. This is something you could try to do yourself, but often it’s best to engage the help of a professional who is familiar with conducting these types of searches and can give you an opinion.

Next, you’ll need to determine what type of patent you would be pursuing. The most common options are a design patent or a utility patent. In your case you would be filing for a utility patent.

Now you need to decide whether you are filing for a provisional or nonprovisional patent. A provisional patent is the first step to securing a filing date if you’re not ready to file the nonprovisional patent and start the examination process, but ultimately you’ll need to get a nonprovisional patent to protect your idea.

Finally, you’ll need to prepare and file the application along with the application fee. As this can be a confusing and difficult process, it’s recommended to hire an attorney to prepare the application for you. At this stage you’ll put together all the necessary information and submit it to the USPTO for examination. Once received by the USPTO, they will review the application and issue a determination. If it’s denied you’ll have the opportunity to appeal and request reconsideration.

Once a patent is ultimately approved, you’ll need to maintain it by paying the required maintenance fees to the USPTO.

If you’d like assistance with filing your patent, LawTrades can connect you with one of the experienced attorneys on our site for a free consultation. All of the attorneys are pre-vetted and constantly reassessed. We only let the highest caliber attorneys jump on board at LawTrades so that you can hire one in confidence.