Obtaining a patent can be a lengthy and complex process. Texas inventors are encouraged to hire an attorney to help with the process, but there are still steps inventors can take to help the process along. An inventor can work in tandem with an attorney to make the patent law work for him or her.
The first, and possibly most simple, step is to search the Internet to determine what other products are out there that share similarities with the invention. Part of the patent application process is proving uniqueness of the idea. Understanding what is already out there can help make a distinction.
This leads to the next step, which is reviewing prior art on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's website. This entails reviewing other patents to be sure that no one else already holds a patent for the same invention. At the same time, the invention could be distinguished from other similar inventions.
If possible, a prototype should be built. This can help the inventor and the attorney better understand the product and how someone else could get around acknowledging a patent. The inventor's attorney should also see the prototype to help him or her understand what is being patented and what to look for during the due diligence portion of the process.
By working as a team, a Texas inventor and his or her attorney can complete the patent law process as thoroughly as possible. This could increase the possibility of the application being approved the first time. The sooner that a patent is received, the sooner no one else can use the idea without receiving permission and paying royalties to the patent owner.
Source: entrepreneur.com, "Create the Strongest Patent Possible With These 5 Tips", Stephen Key, Dec. 4, 2015