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

Invention to PatentSo you have an idea and want to file a patent application? Whether you are going to attempt to pursue your patent dreams on your own without the help of a patent practitioner, or whether you will hire a patent attorney or agent to represent you, there are a number of things that you absolutely need to know about the invention and patent process that can help you focus your efforts. Great dividends are paid by understanding the obstacles lay in front of you, the pitfalls that have snared unsuspecting inventors in the past, and the many nuances required by case law and statutes. In short, on the road from invention to patent, the better informed you are the better inventor you will become and the more meaningful help you will be able to provide your team.

This page and website contain detailed information to help inventors on the road from invention to patent. 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. We literally have hundreds of articles on everything from basic patent law, to the invention process, to preparing a patent application, and to licensing your invention and making money, which really is the goal.

Below are a sampling of inventor help links to specific patent and invention related information throughout our website. As you read these articles you will invariably come across links to other articles of interest, which you can and really should read. While I believe inventors should take the time to read all of the pages throughout, I have gone through the archives and created several “reading assignments,” which will hopefully make the task of figuring out where to start 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. You can also visit our Inventor Education Archive as well.

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. You can also sign-up for our daily newsletter, or visit us on Saturdays, which is typically when we publish a new article every week aimed at inventors and those new to the industry.

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 — Design Patents

Reading Assignment 7 — Trade Secrets & Confidentiality

Reading Assignment 8 — Software Related Inventions

Reading Assignment 9 — More Advanced Topics



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

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