I get calls from entrepreneurs all the time who want to know if they can patent their invention.
And in true patent lawyer fashion my answer is: Well, that depends… on the answer to this one simple question:
Can you tell me how to make and use your invention?
Patents are based on a deal you make with the government. In exchange for you coming up with an invention and publishing how to make and use your invention, the government will grant you the exclusive right to make, use, sell, offer for sale, and import your invention into the country.
So the earliest you can file a patent application eligible of being granted by the government is when you can describe how to make and use your invention.
I have worked with inventors who literally brought me their ideas written on a napkin because as soon as they conceived it, they can file a patent application to protect it. As long as you can provide me with a recipe for how to make your product or perform your process, then you can file a patent application that is enabled. And the more recipes you can provide, the broader you can claim your invention.
But do not wait, because there are no prizes in patent law for second place.
If you have an idea on a napkin or an AutoCAD file, call us at 832-621-0353 and let’s see if we can help.