How to Submit an Invention to the US Patent Office

by John Cromwell

If you have invented a new and useful machine, process or innovation, a utility patent with the US Patent Office will grant you the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using or selling the product you invented. The process of applying for a patent can be very complex. Consider consulting with a licensed attorney or online document provider to assist you in the process.The following steps should be done, and presented in a packet, in this order.

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Step 1

Select a title for your invention. The title should be 500 words or less and be as specific to the invention as possible. This title will appear on most of the forms you are preparing.

Step 2

Draft the patent application transmittal form. This form is used to identify the invention from among other applicants. The form you need is Form PTO/SB/05, and it will list the type of application, the title of the invention, the contents of the application and will list any enclosures included with the application.

Step 3

Pay the appropriate fees. If you file electronically, the application app will let you know how much you owe.Note that as of 2012, filing on paper costs substantially more. To determine what you owe if you file a paper application, use the Fee Transmittal Form. (Form PTO/SB/17).

Step 4

Complete the Application Data Sheet. The Application Data Sheet discloses the contact information of the applicant and his legal representative. Use Form PTO/SB/14 to complete this requirement.

Step 5

Provide the specifications of the invention. Each of the following sections should be included and identified with a subheader in the document: title of the invention; references to any other related applications; a statement regarding federally sponsored research or development, if applicable; references to a sequence listing, a table or a computer program listing compact disc appendix, if applicable; the invention’s background; a summary of the invention; drawings showing several views of the invention; a detailed description of the invention and a detailed explanation regarding what makes the invention novel. The pages of the specification must be numbered consecutively starting with 1, and the page numbers must be centered at the bottom of the page. The specifications should be 1.5 or double spaced, with each paragraph numbered and indented.

Step 6

Execute the appropriate oath or declaration. The oath or declaration is used to verify that you truly believe you are the original inventor of the device in question. If you are preparing a written application, use Form PTO/SB/01 and PTO/SB/01A.

Step 7

Submit your application. You can either submit your application electronically or by my email. To submit your application electronically, go to the About EFS-Web page on the USPTO website. If you wish to mail your application, send it to the Commissioner for Patents; P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.