So you have an invention – now what?

I am asked almost daily “what is involved” in filing a patent application to protect an invention.  Every inventor is different in terms of his or her experience and technical background.  Here are some basic questions to have in mind that will make it easy for us to work together to have a successful patent application:

  1. Any prior public disclosure?  This can make it impossible to patent an invention.
  2. Patentability search – patent databases, web searching for similar products and competitors
  3. Drawings and written description so that the patent agent has something to work with
  4. Inventors and any duties to assign to an employer or investor?
  5. What countries do you want protection in?
  6. Is the benefit of patenting worth the considerable investment of thousands of dollars per country?