How To Get A Free Patent: Get Your Invention Protected Today!

Have you ever had a great idea for a new product or invention, but didn’t know how to protect it from being copied by others?

But what if you don’t have the money or the expertise to apply for a patent on your own? Is there a way to get a free patent?

The answer is yes, there are some options available for inventors who cannot afford a patent attorney or agent.

In this article, I will show you how to get a free patent by using some of the free services and resources offered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and other organizations.

How To Get A Free PatentCourtesy:Patent pandas
How To Get A Free Patent
Courtesy:Patent pandas

What are the benefits of getting a free patent?

Getting a free patent can help you save money and time, as well as increase your chances of getting a patent granted.

Some of the benefits of getting a free patent are:

  • You can get professional assistance and guidance from volunteer patent practitioners or law students who can help you prepare, file, and prosecute your patent application.
  • You can get access to online tools and databases that can help you research your invention, check its novelty and inventiveness, and draft your patent application.
  • You can get feedback and advice from patent examiners and experts who can help you improve your patent application and overcome any objections or rejections.
  • You can get exposure and recognition for your invention by having it published and searchable in the USPTO website and other platforms.

How to qualify for a free patent?

To qualify for a free patent, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as:

  • You need to be an individual inventor or a small business owner who has not previously filed a patent application.
  • You need to have a low income or qualify as a micro entity, which means that your gross income is less than three times the median household income in the United States, and that you have not been named as an inventor on more than four previously filed patent applications.
  • You need to have a patentable invention that is new, useful, and nonobvious, and that falls within one of the categories of patentable subject matter, such as a process, a machine, a manufacture, or a composition of matter.
  • You need to agree to cooperate with the patent office and the volunteer patent practitioner or law student who will assist you with your patent application.

How to apply for a free patent?

To apply for a free patent, you need to follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Learn the basics of patenting. Before you apply for a patent, you need to understand what a patent is, what are the requirements and benefits of getting a patent, and what are the risks and challenges of patenting. You can learn the essentials of patenting by visiting the USPTO website, where you can find various resources, such as guides, videos, tutorials, and FAQs, that can help you get started.
  • Step 2: Research your invention. Before you apply for a patent, you need to make sure that your invention is patentable and that it does not infringe on any existing patents. You can research your invention by using the USPTO online tools and databases, such as Patent Center, Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR), and Patent Full-Text and Image Database (PatFT), where you can search, view, and download patent documents and information. You can also use other sources, such as Google Patents, Espacenet, and WIPO Patentscope, to search for patents from other countries and regions.
  • Step 3: Choose the type of patent. Before you apply for a patent, you need to decide what type of patent you want to apply for. There are three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.
  • Step 4: Draft your patent application. Before you apply for a patent, you need to prepare a written document that describes your invention in detail and defines the scope of your patent rights. Your patent application must include the following sections: a title, an abstract, a specification, a claim or claims, and drawings (if applicable). You can draft your patent application by following the rules and guidelines of the USPTO, which you can find in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). You can also use the USPTO patent forms and templates to help you format and organize your patent application.
  • Step 5: File your patent application. After you draft your patent application, you need to submit it to the USPTO for examination. You can file your patent application online through the USPTO Patent Center, which is a single interface that replaces the previous systems of Electronic Filing System-Web (EFS-Web), Private PAIR, and Public PAIR. You can also file your patent application by mail or by hand delivery, but this may incur additional fees and delays. When you file your patent application, you need to pay the required fees, such as the filing fee, the search fee, and the examination fee, which vary depending on the type of patent and the size of the entity. You can find the current fee schedule on the USPTO website.

How to get free patent help?

If you need help with any of the steps above, you can get free patent help from the following sources:

  • The Patent Pro Bono Program: This is a program that matches eligible inventors with volunteer patent practitioners who can assist them with preparing, filing, and prosecuting their patent applications. The program is administered by regional pro bono organizations that cover different states or regions. You can find more details about the program, including the eligibility criteria, the application process, and the contact information of each regional organization, on the USPTO website.
  • The Law School Clinic Certification Program: This is a program that allows law students to provide free patent services to qualified inventors under the supervision of an approved supervising attorney, who is a registered patent practitioner and has experience practicing before the USPTO. The program is offered by participating law schools that have been certified by the USPTO. You can find more details about the program, including the list of participating law schools, the types of services they offer, and the contact information of each law school, on the USPTO website.
  • The Inventors Assistance Center (IAC): This is a call center that provides free information and assistance to inventors and applicants who have questions or issues related to patent matters. You can contact the IAC by phone, email, or online chat, and get answers to general questions about patenting, such as the patent process, the patent forms, the patent fees, and the patent resources. You can also get technical assistance with using the USPTO online tools and databases, such as Patent Center, PAIR, and PatFT. However, the IAC cannot provide legal advice or opinions on specific patent applications or cases.

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