Invention to Patent 101 – Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

lightbulb-draftsman-335So you have an idea and want to file a patent application? There are a number of things that you need to know about the invention and patent process that can help you focus your efforts and know what obstacles lay in front of you. This page and website contain contain detailed information to help inventors. Our goal is to educate you, make you a knowledgeable consumer and to save you from those unscrupulous invention promotion companies who would tell you that you can patent an idea. You cannot patent an idea, but there are ways to move from idea to patent in an appropriate manner. These and other important topics are explained throughout our website.

Below are inventor help links to patent and invention related information throughout our website. Over the years we have written many hundreds of tutorial articles, so this is only a sampling. While I really believe that inventors should read all of the pages throughout, I have gone through the archives and created several “reading assignments,” which will hopefully be more manageable, and which will help get you started. I recommend you do them in this order (i.e., starting with Reading Assignment 1), but if you find something that you just need to know then by all means jump ahead. As you read the articles you will find links to other articles on related topics, but you can always come back to this article as necessary.

For information on drafting a provisional patent application yourself please see our do-it-yourself patent system called the Invent + Patent System.

Good luck and enjoy!


Reading Assignment 1 — Getting Started

Reading Assignment 2 — Moving Forward with Your Invention

Reading Assignment 3 — Basic Patent Law



Reading Assignment 4 — Patent Applications

Reading Assignment 5 — Making Money with your Invention

Reading Assignment 6 — Software Related Inventions


Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of

Join the Discussion

2 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for Hope]
    January 11, 2016 04:43 am

    Hi! so this is my situation. I have an idea of a certain potential product and there are missing links but in general, concept wise, its already done. Also, since its not my area of expertise I have no choice but to resort it to an engineer for the complete details and specifications. I should/will own the patent right?

  • [Avatar for Wayne Carpenter]
    Wayne Carpenter
    September 29, 2015 02:29 am

    Thanks for the information.