How to Patent a Drink

By A.L. Kennedy

A drink may be patented in the U.S. if it meets the legal requirements for patentability. Drinks are typically patented using utility patents. In order to receive a patent, a drink must be novel, "nonobvious," and adequately and clearly described in the patent application. An experienced patent attorney can help you through the process, but you are not required to have an attorney in order to file a patent application.

A drink may be patented in the U.S. if it meets the legal requirements for patentability. Drinks are typically patented using utility patents. In order to receive a patent, a drink must be novel, "nonobvious," and adequately and clearly described in the patent application. An experienced patent attorney can help you through the process, but you are not required to have an attorney in order to file a patent application.

Step 1

Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's patent database to make sure that your drink or one substantially like it has not been patented already. The USPTO has two databases: one for issued patents and one for pending patent applications. You can also search issued patents by using Google's patents search engine.

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Step 2

Apply for a customer number and a digital certificate through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Electronic Business Center. These items are your online identification for filing patent applications, paying application fees, and other business you may have with the patent office.

Step 3

File your patent application through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Electronic Filing System. The USPTO strongly recommends working with an experienced patent attorney to prepare your patent application, since applications require a great deal of detailed information about your invention. You may save your application in the Electronic Filing System and come back to it later, if you need to do additional research or gather information.

Step 4

Calculate and pay your filing fees for your patent application. The filing fee for a utility patent, such as a patent for a drink, depends on several different factors. As of 2011, the basic utility patent filing fee was $380. Additional fees may be required if your application contains more than 20 claims, exceeds more than 50 pages, or for other reasons. The current fee schedule is available at the USPTO website. You may pay your filing fees online or by sending a money order or cashier's check to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now
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How to Apply for a Patent for a Recipe

Patenting a recipe can be a confusing process, if you don't understand the patent criteria for food compositions. A great recipe is only patentable under very narrow circumstances. The recipe must be useful, novel and non-obvious. This three-prong test means that the greatest recipe in the world is not patentable unless it involves a food formulation or application that has not been used before and cannot be intuited by a cook merely tasting the final product. The recipe must also be new and cannot be an old family recipe or something that was cooked for the public in the past, because an inventor has a limited window of time to patent an invention before it becomes available to the public domain.

What Does Patent Mean?

A patent is a legal monopoly on the use and benefit of a unique invention. Patent rights are granted by national governments after a lengthy application and examination process. The patent holder may be the inventor or, as in the case of a work for hire, the inventor’s employer. In the U.S., patents are granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

How to Register a Patent

An inventor applies for a patent through a process called "prosecution" rather than registration. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office oversees patent prosecution and trademark registration. Patents do not automatically qualify for any type of intellectual property rights, as trademarks or copyrights do. Trademarks and copyrights automatically qualify for property rights, as soon as they meet minimal legal qualifications. A trademark or copyright owner may elect optional federal registration for additional protection. An inventor must submit a provisional or nonprovisional patent application, complete the prosecution process and have the patent approved by the federal government.

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