The Role of Patents in Focused Innovation

The object in patenting is not simply to obtain a patent on your own product. For a patent to be of commercial value, it should extend to and cover close alternatives that could compete with your own product. This actually requires an inventor to think about how the benefits of an invention could be achieved in other ways.

An inventor seeking to obtain a valuable and effective patent should engage in “super inventing”. This means going beyond thinking of the original invention in terms of its specifics. Every invention starts-off as an assembly of parts and processes. Instead, the invention has to be understood at its most abstract level. This will help greatly in identifying alternate variations on the original invention. The objective, for patent purposes, is to characterize the larger inventive concept in language that will encompass all of these variants.

Surprisingly, to many, most inventions change over time as inventors come to understand the invention at a deeper, or higher, level. Once alternate variations of an original invention have been identified it will often be recognized that the original invention had its own deficiencies. A modified invention can then be identified that is superior to the original concept. This process can be carried-out iteratively, with the potential for great profit. Not only can the invention be improved, but the prospects for obtaining an effective patent monopoly can be enhanced as you can read from how to apply for a patent with InventHelp post.

Many examples can be generated where this principle is demonstrated. One example that may surprise people is that of the Wright Brothers patent, granted just over 100 years ago. This patent as originally drafted was deficient in respect of the feature identified as the principle inventive advance. The Wright Brothers did not really understand their own invention.

It is the responsibility of every patent applicant to not only describe their invention in terms of how to build it, but also to define it. The Wright Brothers knew that they had not invented the idea of an airplane that would fly under power. Such a concept had been thoroughly discussed in the previous 40 years and a considerable number of attempts to build a flying vehicle had been made. Steam powered model aircraft had already flown distances on the order of half a mile. Patents are not granted for doing something for the first time; they are granted for originating the idea of how something should be done, that is, coming up with a new idea. The idea of flying was old. To obtain a patent, the Wright Brothers had to conceive of something that had not been proposed before.

The Wright Brothers believed that they had invented the idea of controlling an aircraft so that it would bank to the left or bank to the right – to achieve “roll” – by twisting the tips of the wings. They built a glider aircraft with “soft” outer wing ends that could be warped. But when this didn’t work very well they ran a rope to the tail to correct a steering problem by “slaving” the tail to turn in conjunction with the wing tips. That’s what they thought was the essence of their invention when they filed their patent application.

Once they had filed a patent application they visited the Examiner at the Patent Office in Washington. He recommended to them that they engage a patent attorney. Returning home, they located and met with a patent attorney who appreciated the importance of what they had accomplished. By then they had made their first successful flight under power using their new control system.

If you think you understand this principle then you can test it out yourself by making a list of all of the features which characterize a scrollbar on a computer screen. How many can you identify? Are you able, in one sentence, to provide defining language which will cover all of these features? If so, you are well-qualified to understand the fundamental nature and challenge faced by inventors when they set out to originally conceive and eventually patent their inventions.

More significantly, you will be well-positioned to engage in “Directed Innovation” which means conceiving inventions which have an improved prospect of being profitable. You can continue reading about patents on how to file a patent with InventHelp article.

Start Patent Process

To determine what is unique about your invention, do a patentability search. Knowing the results of the patentability search will help you when writing your patent application and also during patent examination.

What’s a search?

The search compares your invention to relevant public information, also called prior art. Therefore patentability searches are conducted online using a variety of resources: patent databases, collections of articles and more.

Patentability Search

So you want to get started on your patent application and you think that the first step is to write everything down about your invention, right? Not so fast – the first step is to perform a patentability search. You can do it on your own, or hire the professionals, such as patent InventHelp agency, which is highly recommended.

Why a patentability search?

Because a patent is an exchange – you describe your truly inventive invention, and the government gives you a monopoly on that invention for a period of 20 years from the date of filing the application. Pretty good deal – but the government, representing the public, wants to receive something worthwhile, so you need to show that your invention is different from all publicly available information, published anywhere in the world, in any language. This publicly available information is called prior art. Your search compares your invention with this information. That is where patenting agencies, like patent service InventHelp, can help.

What standards does your invention have to meet?

Your invention has to meet two standards: it has to be novel and non-obvious.

Novel simply means new and is an easy standard to meet. Non-obvious is tricky; it can also be described as being “inventive” – going above and beyond simple changes to what is known to public, to find something that is truly different and special. Sound vague and subjective? That’s because it is, more patent cases in the US have struggled with the definition of “non-obvious” than over any other single issue.

Obtain and Protect Medical Patents

The medical science industry is developing and advancing at a remarkable rate, and certain conditions and diseases are now treatable that were seen as incurable for years, if not for centuries. Additionally, the medical science industry is one that’s quite lucrative for those who formulate inventions that will be widely used, but that’s only the case for those who understand how to properly protect their ideas as they work towards introducing them to the public.

Types of Medical Patents

Medical products can encompass many different ideas and products, and even if we exclude biological and pharmaceutical patents, these types of protections can cover such innovations as medical devices that aid in surgical procedures, devices that aid in diagnoses of patients, prosthetics that provide daily help for those who may be without a limb and even nutritional supplements that provide the dietary help that people need.

Clearly, there are many additional types of medical patents, but in recent times, one of the biggest thrusts has been within the realm of medical devices. The advancement of other types of technology and the newfound use of different types of materials has played a part in the burgeoning medical device market, but like anything else, any invention in this regard needs to be properly protected as described in this article – patent my invention through InventHelp.

How to Obtain a Medical Patent

Obtaining a medical patent is much like obtaining any other type of patent, although there is at least one additional step involved before an invention can hit the market and be sold. Basically, if someone comes up with a medical invention, he, she or they must put together the appropriate documentation with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in order to preserve the date on which the invention was first proffered for approval. This is important because there are times when a competing interest could claim to have invented the same or a very similar product, and the dates attached to the applications are generally what governs priority.

Assuming the patent application documentation is appropriate and is ultimately accepted by the government, thereby granting the patent, the product at issue is still not ready to be legally marketed to the public at large. Instead, the inventor or those with controlling interest in the patented product must obtain approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA governs the safety and the regulation of these types of products, and any product that is marketed without this approval can lead to serious problems with the government in several contexts as you can read from how to patent an idea with InventHelp.

This is accomplished by submitting a marketing application to the FDA for approval. There are different classifications of medical products that must be considered before beginning the approval process with the FDA, and they are as follows:

  • Class I Devices – These are generally non-life sustaining products that pose only a small risk if they fail.
  • Class II Devices – While a Class II device is generally more complicated in nature than a Class I device, they are also non-life sustaining.
  • Class III Devices – These are life sustaining products and must pass stringent testing processes by the FDA before gaining marketing approval.

Intellectual Property the Most Valuable Assets

Intellectual property such as copyrights, trademarks, and patents require legally ratified intellectual property licensing agreements. A licensing agreement or license is a government-approved document that gives someone permission to engage in a defined activity to use certain property, including intellectual property, that is owned by someone else. Such intellectual property law regulations are essential when enforcing the owner’s rights to their intellectual property.


Copyrights are forms of intellectual property that protect original works of authorship, be they literary, theatrical, musical, choreographed or artistic creations. (This includes specific formats such as novels, plays, songs, software, and paintings from the moment they are finished and fixed in a tangible form.) Copyright law affords the author (or owner) of a specific work the legal right to control reproduction, distribution, adaptation, public use and display, and translations into other languages or other mediums of their work. Be aware that copyright protection does not protect ideas as is explained on article.


Patents are a form of intellectual property protection that protect new and useful machines, technologies, articles, chemical substances, or processes through exclusive rights granted by the federal government to their inventors. To receive an invention patent, the inventor must appeal to the federal government; and if the invention patent is approved, a document will be ratified and published detailing a full description of the invention and its specified use in the patent disclosure. The duration of the patentee’s exclusive right lasts for 20 years from the date when the application was filed.


Trademarks are forms of intellectual property that protect identifying marks that distinguish goods, companies or services. To qualify as a trademark, a mark or symbol must be identified in the minds of consumers with a particular source. Trademarks also are available in different levels of protection or “strength” including generic marks, descriptive marks, suggestive marks, and arbitrary or fanciful marks.

Intellectual property represents a company’s most valuable and vulnerable assets. When those assets are endangered, companies need experts that can deliver results without compromise. Many companies seek lawyers that understand the particulars of intellectual property, and a firm, such as InventHelp patent agency, that can protect and uphold their business interests.

The International PCT Patent Application

A PCT International Patent Application allows you to reserve the right to file a utility patent application in many countries around the world. The PCT Application must be filed within a year of the date your initial patent application was filed to claim priority from your earliest application or before your invention is published. Many countries have an absolute novelty standard and often any disclosure of your invention without a non-disclosure agreement will operate to prevent you from obtaining patent protection abroad outside of the United States. That is why you need professional help for your new invention idea.

An applicant should consider filing for patent protection in foreign countries if the invention derives sales in those foreign countries as the foreign patent preparation and prosecution can be costly. A PCT International Patent Application does not issue into a patent and merely provides for a search to be conducted and report to be generated.

Thereafter, an applicant must enter the National Stage and file in the desired foreign countries. However, an applicant does not have to decide where to file specific foreign patent applications for up to 30 months from your earliest U.S. filing date, and costly foreign filing fees can be deferred until later where a more informed decision can be made.

The PCT International Patent Application is assigned to an Examiner and the Examiner conducts a search and generates an International Search Report. Based on the references cited, the Examiner will determine whether the invention has inventive step and whether the invention is novel and will prepare an International Preliminary Examination Report, which will be forwarded to the desired countries where the applicant will enter the National Stage. An applicant must file a patent application in the desired foreign countries that the applicant desires foreign protection otherwise the protection can be irrevocably lost. Therefore, it is advisable to always consult with a professional patent agency, such as Invent Help.

What To Watch For Before Patent is Filed?

If there’s any mathematics in your application, check it; typographical limitations can cause very embarrassing errors which are harder (read: takes more time and thus more money) to correct once the process has started. Look for the same language in the specification (particularly, in the ‘Detailed Description of the Invention’) and the claims.

Read the claims, and ask yourself (last chance!) if you could design around that language, and still make your invention work. Is there an element which can be left out of the ‘base claim’? Is there a necessary element which has been left out of the base claim? If you see a word you don’t understand, get help for your new invention idea. It may be a bit embarrassing for you now, but it’s a lot more expensive, as well as embarrassing, if the jury doesn’t understand it later.

Look over the drawings, and don’t just nod and smile politely; if they don’t describe what you’ve invented, they need to be corrected. Finally, and most importantly, read through for the description of the “Best Mode”. If you’ve discovered a better way to do your invention, now’s the time to put it in.

However, there’s also as with most other engineering efforts, a time to ‘shoot the engineer and ship’. You may be facing a deadline (i.e. if you don’t file, you lose the right to do so); you may be being too perfectionist (you know there’s a better way but haven’t proven it is yet), you may be nervous (‘my name is going on this?’), or you may just want to spell-check the document one last time against the on-line Dictionary…but every minor change at this point is very costly, in both dollars and time. Keep that in mind, and don’t complain if your bill exceeds the estimate after three-or-more ‘final’ drafts!

What to do with new ideas about the invention have before the application is filed, but while it is being prepared?

Prepare them much as you did the initial application (description, context, drawings, goal, function, pros-and-cons) and send them on to the patent attorney. You may be changing the scope of your invention — and if they’re big enough changes, you may force a complete re-start to the entire process. Be ready to discuss whether the addition is worth including, however; and don’t believe that every change will be added. Because sometimes the patent attorney has already thought ahead or come up with a general-enough description that your addition is already covered as explained in this article –

What to do with new ideas about the invention have after the application is filed?

Do talk about them with your patent attorney. But don’t expect that they can just be ‘crammed in’. Even though the USPTO is currently working with a two-to-three year backlog (meaning you won’t hear a first response from them until nearly three years after the application is filed), your filing date ‘fixes’ the date of your invention; anything substantively new past that point counts as “new matter”. And the USPTO generally will not allow any “new matter” to be included in your application. Because they have a whole class of applications (with fee) for what are called ‘continuations-in-part’, devised for just this sort of inventiveness.

Electric Air Compressor

A gas and an electric air compressor have their own advantages over each other. Gas-powered machines are the only option when operating in a place where there are no power lines, such as in a building in the starting stages of its construction. They also eliminate the need for power cords that could possibly trip the workers.

One of the downside, however, of the gas-operated equipment is that it cannot be operated in enclosed areas as the fumes from its exhaust pipe emit a foul odor, and a continuous exposure to it causes damage to the lungs. Further, this type is also quite noisy, giving off a loud rumble that could also potentially damage the ears.

For home and shop use, therefore, an electric air compressor is deemed a better option. It is quiet and does not foul up the air. There are both portable and stationery machines of this type, so that both home and commercial or industrial users can avail of it. There is also the choice of the oil-less type machines. As a rule, these do not last as long as the ones that require oil for their operation. However, maintaining them is far easier as they do not need frequent oil changes.

There is no shortage of models to choose from. Indeed, you may even be bewildered with all the types of air compressors available with variations from different engine power, tank capacities, PSIs, and CFMs. You may have to consult with your hardware store or with others who have experience with the machines.

Prepare the Patent Application

If the decision is made to seek patent protection, a formal written application must be prepared which fully describes and legally defines the invention. The patent application is an important legal document and should not be undertaken by someone who is not trained and experienced in drafting patent applications. It is highly advisable that a registered patent agency, like Invent Help, or a attorney draft the application with the inventor’s technical input and assistance. A patent application includes a specification, a series of claims, and drawings where necessary for understanding the invention.

The specification must contain a full written disclosure of the invention so that anyone skilled in the area pertaining to the invention would be able to obtain all the necessary information to make and use the invention. It must also disclose the best mode known to the inventor of practicing the invention at the time the application is filed. The inventor must, therefore, be certain to tell the patent attorney everything known about the invention.

The claims determine the scope of protection provided by the patent for the invention. It is the claims that define what the inventor can exclude others from making, using or selling. Great care must be taken to draft patent claims such that they define as broad a scope as possible for the invention while, at the same time, making the claims sufficiently narrow to avoid a challenge to validity based on prior inventions. The initial claims of the application are often amended during the prosecution of the application to more clearly define the patented invention.

Since drawings must comply with detailed Patent Office rules and standards, an experienced patent draftsman should prepare the drawings. The patent attorney preparing the patent application will normally make the arrangements for the services of a competent patent draftsman.

Once the patent application is completed and certain accompanying legal papers are prepared, the application can be filed with the Patent and Trademark Office. When the application has been filed, and not before, the invention may be marked “Patent Pending” or “Patent Applied For.”

The charges for the preparation of the patent application result largely from the amount of time it takes the patent attorney to prepare the application. Hence, savings will often result if the inventor provides the patent agency, like InventHelp, with a full disclosure concerning the invention before preparation of the application begins.

The Two Types of Patent Professionals

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (U.S.P.T.O.) licenses two types of individuals to represent parties before it in patent cases: patent attorneys and patent agents. A patent attorney is a lawyer who is also licensed by the U.S.P.T.O. A patent agency, like Invent Help, is a non-lawyer who is licensed to represent individuals before the U.S.P.T.O. in patent cases.

There are a number of similarities between patent attorneys and patent agents. Both patent attorneys and agents must possess a technical background in at least one of a number of fields approved by the U.S.P.T.O. Both attorneys and agents must be trustworthy and of good moral character. Most importantly, both patent attorneys and agents are required to sit for and pass a rigorous examination in patent law and procedure before receiving a license.

The examination is the same for attorneys and agents, and in order to sit for it, a prospective patent attorney or agent must demonstrate his or her credentials and good character. Once admitted to practice, patent attorneys and agents are bound by the same strict ethical rules.

Before the U.S.P.T.O., a patent agent can perform virtually any task in a patent case that a patent attorney can perform, including the filing and prosecution of a patent application and the recording of papers (like assignments or transfers of rights) that pertain to the patent application. The difference between a patent attorney and a patent agent lies in what the two can do outside of the U.S.P.T.O. Because a patent attorney is also admitted to the general practice of law in at least one state, he or she can also provide assistance with patent-related contract issues, licensing, negotiation…

A patent attorney can also offer opinions on the validity and enforceability of patents, and can assist with other intellectual property matters, such as trademarks and copyrights. Patent agents are not permitted to do these things, because they are considered matters of general law. However, a patent agent may opine on whether an invention appears to be patentable, and may give advice directly related to the pursuit of a patent.

Which One is for Me?

If your needs are limited to obtaining patent protection, then a patent agency, such as InventHelp may be best for you. Keep in mind that patent agents generally charge less than patent attorneys, and a well-trained patent agent may represent a party just as well as a patent attorney. Even if you may eventually need broader legal representation to handle patent licensing, or other related matters, it may be more economical to have a patent agent as your representative before the U.S.P.T.O.

Can You Make Money with Your Idea

Not only a business, but even an idea can make you rich, if it is good enough, and you manage it well. There are certain steps to be followed from having an idea to protecting it and finding a market for it.

Inventors are saying there is nothing new under the sun, so if you want to have an invention, you shouldn’t be looking to discover something completely new. The best and most profitable ideas come from small things improving existing ideas. There is a good article about it online at

You should be looking for problems to be solved in your own experience. Think about the issues around your home: closet organizers were invented by people bothered by the clutter in their closet. Power strips, dusters and stain removers were invented to solve common household problems.

Your workplace can be also a good place for inspiration. Most employers are eager to cut costs and improve productivity and efficiency, so you may think about methods to resolve the things that delay the completion of your work.

You should be looking for ideas that can be applied broadly: it will not make you wealthy if your innovation can be applied only in your department. You also can have innovative ideas about your hobbies. You could invent gadgets that help users enjoy a game more, or learn a skill easier.

Once you have an idea, you should check if anyone had that idea already. You will have to look thorough the records of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). An online search is also available at You can find on the site all patents from 1790 on.

Since 1790, when the first invention was registered in the U.S. 7 million patents were registered. There was an entire wave of new patents in the last years, so there is very good chance that somebody already had your idea. Don’t panic: if someone already had you idea, you can still work to improve it, and this way you still can make money. You can learn more from

If you can’t find anything in the database similar to your idea, you can proceed to the next step: the preliminary patent search, which can take 25-30 hours. This helps you to assess how good your idea is, and who are your potential competitors. A full search, which involves a professional, consists in a review of international patents, patent literature, and other resources beyond the easy reach.