If you want to make sure that no one steals or uses your good idea before you have the chance to, you might be thinking about filling out an application for a patent. In fact, you may have already downloaded the paperwork, and you might be ready to get started right away. Before you do so, however, you should consider the fact that a lot of people make mistakes with their patents. Make sure that you avoid these three common mistakes so that you don't have any regrets or problems with your patent later on.
1. Not Being Specific Enough
It is important to take the time to fully develop your idea -- and then to fully describe this idea in your patent application -- if you want it to be approved. You can't just patent broad ideas -- your idea has to be truly unique and different. If you don't take the time to fully develop it, you're going to have a hard time. It's best to sit down and take your time working on your idea before you start trying to explain it on a patent application.
2. Filing Too Late
If you have already told the general public about your idea, you need to work fast. A lot of people don't realize it, but there are actually time restrictions in place in regards to how much time you have to file a patent. These things can take time, so you don't want to slug around until the last minute. Go ahead and get started on your patent application soon, or wait until you are ready before you let people know about your idea. Otherwise, you could find yourself pressed for -- or out of -- time at the last minute, which can be devastating for any inventor.
3. Not Hiring a Patent Lawyer
So many people try to fill out their own patents and fail. These applications can be challenging to fill out, and a sloppy application can put things on hold or cause your application to be denied. Either way, you are better off shelling out the cash for an experienced lawyer to help you rather than attempting to DIY things with a downloaded application. You're an inventor and not a lawyer, so it's better to get help from a legal professional to ensure success.
Don't make these common mistakes when filing your patent, or you'll regret it later.