So, you’ve thought of something, designed something, or thought of a new theory for something and you want to make certain that your ideas remain your own and aren’t stolen by someone else. This is where patenting your idea comes into play. A patent is a protection on your intellectual property; it ascertains that you have the rights of ownership, the right to have royalties and other perks from your ideas, and furthermore the rights to sell it later if you are so inclined. Patents generally last up to twenty years, though you can sometimes get a special extension from the Congress.
There are a couple of ways you can have your idea patented, though they boil down ways to handle the application and filing process of your patent. You can either patent your idea yourself by using a patent kit or simply doing all of the applying and filing by yourself by getting the forms from the government, or you can seek invention help from an patenting agency or an intellectual property lawyer to do it for you. Both routes have their advantages and their disadvantages.
Doing it yourself is of course far cheaper than having someone else do it, so if you know what you are doing, you can save a lot of money. The DIY kits try to set things out as plainly as possible, though it can still be tricky navigating the forms and filing procedures. You also have to pay fees as a part of the process. However, doing it yourself is time consuming; you have to do all of the research yourself to make sure that your idea hasn’t already been thought of and it’s too easy to miss something that could make your application be discarded.
You can hire an patenting agency, such as InventHelp, or an intellectual property lawyer to patent your idea for you. An intellectual property lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in dealing with patents for their clients. They are very expensive though, so you’ll want to do some research into your choice of lawyer in order to make certain that he or she is legitimate, experienced, and will do what you want. Although pricey, a good lawyer can do the patent research for you, make the most of your application so that you get as many benefits as possible and free you up to pursue the rest of your life (possibly more inventing!)
Either option is perfectly legitimate; what matters in the end is that the application is filed correctly and that your idea is truly unique. Whether you handle the process yourself or have a lawyer do it, you’ll have the chance to have your work credited to you and no one else.