You’ve worked hard for your invention, and you don’t want to lose out because someone beats you to the punch. Use these tips for patenting your invention.

The US Patent Office has issued 10 million patents. Will yours be next?

Read on for four helpful tips on how to get a patent for your invention ideas.

1. Documentation is Vital

Write down all your invention ideas in a journal. That way you can’t lose it through a damaged hard drive.

You should jot down the date of each entry. This log may be just what you need as proof if ever your invention comes under questioning.

Part of the patent process is making sure that your invention ideas are not the same as anything else that is out there.

2. Set a Budget

People don’t realize how expensive inventing can be. Having this unique product can help you take a lot of guesswork out of writing your patent.

The wisest thing you can do is set a budget for this invention. This way, you will know each step of the way if you are still in good standing. A budget helps you make the most out of your working capital without disaster.

At some point, you may need to drop your idea or put it on hold.

Don’t worry. If you are an inventor, you probably have dozens of ideas that you could pursue.

3. Make a Crude Prototype

The patent process requires you to have a prototype of your invention. But if you outsource this to a prototyping firm, it may cost thousands of dollars.

It’s better to start with a crude design and follow your leads. Hire an artist to sketch your invention. Then, ask an engineer to create a 3D rendering. Creating a 3D model will show you the problems with your invention. You may have to go back to the drawing board several times in this stage.

Finally, you can find a 3D printer you can rent or borrow to create your prototype. This path may be slower, but it will save you a lot of money. Not to mention that you can use the sketches and 3D renderings in business proposals and as attachments to your patent application.

4. File a Patent Application

There are two options for patent applications you can choose from. These are a regular patent application (RPA) or a provisional patent application (PPA).

A PRA is not an application for a patent. It is a form that gives you the status “patent pending.” This application costs a lot less and takes less work to prepare.

The only things you need to file a PPA is a low fee, a description of your invention and a drawing.

The only catch is that inventors must submit an RPA no later than 12 months of filing a PPA. But, if you are racing to get your invention in the patent process, this is a great way to get started.

Final Thoughts on How to get a Patent

Thanks for reading. We hope these four tips on how to get a patent to help you figure out the next steps in patenting your invention.

Next, check out these 7 apps that make life better. You’ll be glad you did! And it may spark a new invention idea.