The 5 steps to patent are:  prior art search,  patentability study,  patent application writing,  patent application filing, and  patent prosecution. Initially, we start with the prior art search and patentability evaluation. If the claims are patentable, we then write and file the patent application for the invention. As a result of filing a patent application, inventions become patent pending. Determining which claims become patented occurs in patent prosecution. A summary of the each step is on this page, and more detailed information is available on the menu links below.
Carson Patents will work closely with you through all five steps to seeking a patent. We offer patent help to pursue patent protection for your invention. Contact us about any of the steps to patenting for your invention or idea.
How to patent an idea or product? We recommend our 5 steps to patent when seeking patent protection for any invention – prior art search, determine patentability, write a patent application, file the application, and then prosecute.Carson Patents®
5 Steps to Getting a Patent for an Invention
How to get a patent for an invention in 5 steps.
Minimum Estimated Time: 365 days
Step 1: Is it New
The first step to patent is the prior art search step is a worldwide search for patents, patent applications, and non-patent literature that are similar to the claims of the invention. Pretty much anything available in any language is potential prior art. Anything that mentions, talks about, or shows how to make and use the invention is potential prior art.
If applying for a patent yourself, you should read about how to do a prior art search. The internet and over 100 patent and patent application databases should be searched. This is what the patent examiners will do when they look for prior art to determine whether the invention is novel and non-obvious while examining the application.
Carson Patents recommends DuckDuckGo for internet searches and PatentScope for patent searches. We recommend all inventors seek the help of a licensed patent practitioner (patent agent or patent attorney) for all of the steps in how to get a patent. This step is sometimes known as a USPTO patent search. Read more about the prior art search.
Patent Step 2: Can it be Patented
The patentability study step is a determination of whether the invention is patentable and whether the prior art discloses the invention. The prior art found during the search is reviewed and examined to determine if an invention is patentable.
An invention may be patentable if it is patent eligible subject matter, useful, novel, and non-obvious. An invention is non-obvious if it cannot be found in the prior art. When examining the prior art, non-obviousness is the most difficult to determine. If the prior art provides the elements of a new invention so that a person having skill in the art would already know how to make the invention, it is likely obvious and thus not patentable.
Carson Patents recommends all inventors seek the help of a licensed patent practitioner (patent agent or patent attorney) for all the steps in how to get a patent. Read more about the patentability study.
Patent Step 3: Writing a Patent Application
The patent application writing step is the writing of a complete and proper patent application. A complete and proper patent application includes the specification, claims, abstract, drawings, oath of invention, and the fling fees. Translation to English is also required if the original is not in English. Additionally, you should also file an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) – preferably at the time of initial filing. The IDS is a listing of all the prior art found and evaluated in the first two steps.
A patent application can be provisional or non-provisional. It is important to note, however, that provisional patent applications are not examined and do not generally include claims. Claims are the point of a patent, and only non-provisional (regular) patent applications are required to have claims. Thus, only a non-provisional application can receive a patent. The provisional is a placeholder for a non-provisional application.
Carson Patents recommends all inventors seek the help of a licensed patent practitioner (patent agent or patent attorney) for all of the steps in how to get a patent. Read more about patent writing.
Patent Step 4: Filing the Application
Patent application filing, step 4 of our steps to patent, is submitting the complete and properly formatted patent application to the patent office and getting a filing receipt. Any missing parts may result in a later filing date. Interestingly, patent applications can be filed both online and by postal mail to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but international PCT application submittals to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) may currently only be done online.
After filing, your invention is patent pending.
Carson Patents recommends all inventors seek the help of a licensed patent practitioner (patent agent or patent attorney) for all of the steps in how to get a patent. Read more about patent filing.
Patent Step 5: Responding to the Examiner
The patent prosecution step is the conducting of communications with the USPTO or WIPO patent offices to advance the application to an allowance if possible. In other words, it is the conducting of communications regarding patent examination or proceeding. Patent application prosecution is either  representing a patent application through examination,  appealing an examination decision, or  conducting opposition, reissue, or reexamination proceedings.
The goal of patent prosecution is to get a patent application allowed and issued. In other words, converting a patent application from pending to granted.
Prosecution happens after a patent is pending and it occurs both before and after a patent is granted. Most often, patent prosecution is communications with the patent examiners through letters called office actions. Patent prosecution for applications includes responding to office actions, writing application amendments, revising existing claims, and examiner interviews.
Carson Patents recommends all inventors seek the help of a licensed patent practitioner (patent agent or patent attorney) for all of the steps in how to get a patent. Read more about patent prosecution.
Estimated Cost: 8000 plus filing fees
- New Invention
- Patent Attorney (USPTO Registered Patent Attorney)
- Global Search Engine Accessing All 108 Available Data Sources
- (Optional) AI Tool: Search Expanding and Enhanced Language Translation
- (Optional) AI Tool: Patent Application Mock Examiner Review
Materials: Description of the invention and any proposed claims. Description of the problem the new invention solves. Description of any existing solutions to the problem solved.
5 Steps to Patent – Help Getting a Patent for an Invention
Carson Patents offers all services needed to seek a protection for your invention. We provide online expert help for inventors with utility, plant, and design inventions.
Patent Confidentiality: Invention disclosures to patent practitioners are covered by client controlled privilege. You are free to discuss your invention with a licensed patent practitioner.
Important Tip: When looking for expert patenting services help only a patent attorney or patent agent can prosecute patents for you.