You are an inventor, working hard on your projects and you may not know whether your projects will ultimately transform into a useful new invention.
Inventors’ MUST DO! List
Do file a US patent application within one year from the date you’ve published your invention anywhere in the world, or your invention was on sale in the US. This date is called the “drop dead date”. After this date you can not obtain a US patent ever. There are patenting agencies like InventHelp that could help you with this.
Do keep an Inventor’s Notebook. The US grants a patent to the first to invent. Therefore, it is very important to keep an Inventor’s Notebook, that documents the date you thought of the invention, and the process and dates of reduction of invention. Thus, DO keep a notebook of everything you think of! It can not hurt, but it certainly will help in case of an interference.
Do not work on your project at your job. Most engineers and scientists sign an employment agreement including an assignment of the rights to any project they worked on at work. Therefore, under an agreement such as this, your work must be fully independent and done on your own time, using your own equipment, and under your own “roof”.
Locating a Patent Agent or Attorney
First, locating a patent attorney. Only those listed on the official roster of current US patent attorneys and agents can prepare a patent application for another. Please see the USPTO Roster of Patent Agents and Attorneys Registered to Practice before the PTO, or search for Registered Agencies, such as Invent Help, and Attorneys in your geographical region.
Preparing an Invention Disclosure
Next, prepare for consulting with the agent/attorney by preparing a detailed disclosure of your invention. This disclosure should include what you know to be the history of the field of your invention, and a detailed description of the invention itself.
History of Your Invention
To think about the history, think of why you designed your invention. What need have you addressed? Why is your invention better than, or an improvement of, the currently available or well known method? Describe the technological history of your invention and the improvements you’ve made on the current models. The reason why this is important is because your patent attorney/ agent, although a scientist or engineer herself, may not be 100% current on your field of invention. This history gets them up to date quickly, which in the end will save on the cost of preparing your patent application.