In light of a favorable patentability opinion, a logical step is to prepare and file an appropriate patent application. The application is the formal request to the USPTO that it grant a patent for your claimed invention. The structure of the application will depend on the type of application (provisional1 vs. non-provisional) and type of invention (utility,2 design,3 and even plant4). Further, applications can be purely domestic pursuits or can involve international filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.5
Preparing the application involves thoroughly describing – through words, flowcharts, diagrams, and figures, as necessary – the invention, its preferred embodiments, and the claim(s) which represent the essence of what will be protected. After the application is filed, the USPTO will generally issue one or more office actions by which the USPTO will object to one or more aspects of the application’s form or substance. This necessitates filing appropriate responses arguing against the objects and/or amending the application to be in compliance with USPTO, MPEP, or statutory requirements. The duration of the application’s prosecution can vary from several months to a handful of years depending on the type of application and its subject matter.
When it comes to illustrating your invention – either through flowcharts, drawings, or 3d renderings – having accurate and properly-formatted figures is essential. We leverage Chicago’s burgeoning startup community, notably Patrick Harris with iMagine It Tech, in assisting our clients with drafting and 3d modeling services they need to explore their designs and/or illustrate patent applications.
1. 35 U.S.C. s 111(b)
2. 35 U.S.C. s 111
3. 35 U.S.C. s 171
4. 35 U.S.C. s 161
5. 35 U.S.C. s 361