How to get an Invention Patent and Intellectual Property Help

1. Avoid using a patent idea service

2. Confirm the invention idea before patenting (know the market and the prior art). Invention City's Brutally Honest Review gives you professional feedback.

3. Evaluate the invention carefully with a prototype

4. Get advice from a reputable patent lawyer or agent

For more details on patenting and how to get started with your invention read Inventing 101. Click on the links below for an introduction to patents and for patent help.

Basic Facts About Patents
Learn About Invention Protection
Provisional Patent Outline (Do It Yourself and save $)
Patent Research
Drawing Services
Guided Patent Services
Thoughts on Defending a Patent Against Knockoffs

First Things First
Patents are good things but most inventors overvalue them. An invention will not succeed if there is not a good market for it. Period. A patent might enable a company to make a better than normal profit from selling the invention; if it does then the inventor can probably collect a royalty. We suggest avoiding patent idea service companies because they will encourage you to spend money on a patent even if the invention has little chance of market success. Moreover most patent idea service companies will not do as good a job in getting a you a patent as a reputable patent lawyer or agent. Patents are tricky things. It is really not too hard to get one on something. What is hard is to get a patent that is worth the time, effort, stress, and money. As a reality check keep in mind that a simple mechanical patent typically costs between $10,000 and $20,000. There is a big difference between a patent and a good patent. Patent help is expensive but if your invention finds great commercial success it's worth every penny.

Prior Art
Prior art is a term that describes things that are publicly known. Prior art cannot be patented. However, since patents are about unique details, prior art that superficially overlaps the broad concept of the invention may not prevent a patent from being issued on the details of that invention. Knowledge of prior art can help to improve an invention - that, in fact, is one of the main reasons for the entire patent system. Researching prior art is the first step to getting a patent. Patent research is hard to do well and professional help is worth the expense. However, in the early stages, even inexperienced inventors can benefit greatly by visiting the USPTO website or Google Patent Search and doing some preliminary research. If you go to USPTO, on the home page under Patents, click on Search and then on Quick Search. Once there you will see blank boxes for Term 1 and Term 2. Enter a single word that describes your invention in each box. To the right of the key word box you will see a menu box for each Field. Open the menu boxes and set them to Abstract for each term. The Abstract is a summary of the invention and is a good place to start your search. Click here to go directly to the USPTO Quick Search Page.

Learn About Invention Protection

  • Confidentiality Agreement Review - Invention City Article. Learn about the most basic tool of invention protection. Examples provided.
  • The Disclosure Dilemma - Invention City Article. You need to talk about the invention to move it forward. How do you do that without giving away the store?
  • Overview of Patent Law - Brief 1-page summary of patent law from Cornell Law School.
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office - The USPTO web site is a must visit for every inventor.
  • Patent It Yourself - David Pressman's classic belongs on every inventor's bookshelf. It provides an in-depth understanding of the patent process and will help you make intelligent decisions regardless of whether or not you actually do it yourself. The cost is $39.96. The value is easily twice that much.
  • Handbook for Inventors - Basic information provided free by MIT
  • Legal Evaluation - The law offices of Brown, Pinnisi & Michaels, PC offer a series of questions that you should consider, prior to attempting to patent your invention.

Patent Research

  • United States Patent and Trademark Office - Currently you can search through full text patents issued since 1976. Full page images may be viewed going back to 1790
  • Google Patent Search - One of the easiest ways to look for prior art. Type keywords into the search bar and check out the results. If you find a relevant patent be sure to check out both patent citations and referenced by

  • Delphion - Search both US and worldwide patents.

  • The European Patent Office - Provides the ability to search through its patents. Beware that patent law differs amongst countries.

  • VersusLaw - Provides full-text opinions from Federal and State Appellate Courts, dating back to 1950.

Patent Drawing Services

  • The Write Stuff offers quality patent illustration services for inventors and patent attorneys, as well as 3D virtual prototyping services.
  • Patent Drafting Company offers high quality low cost patent illustration services for independent inventors.


Guided Patent Services

The pages of are filled with information to enable you to move forward with your invention independently. We strongly encourage you to do an initial patent search on your own, to proceed as inexpensively as possible and avoid using outside services until they are truly needed. Once you've satisfied yourself that your idea is worth pursuing (our Brutally Honest Review is a great confirmation step) we encourage you to consider professional help with researching and filing patents. Invention City, through its relationship with WorkTools, Inc., has seen over 100 patents issued in the US and worldwide and enjoyed the benefit of seeing some of those patents tested (successfully) in litigation all the way through appeals court. Seeing how your own patent claims actually work when they are put the test in a lawsuit against a Fortune 100 corporation is a $5,000,000+ education that few inventors or even patent attorneys have had. When you use our Guided Services we put you in contact with a preferred service provider and remain a part of the process until the task is completed to the high standards we've learned are necessary for success. Success is never guaranteed with intellectual property protection, but errors can be costly if you make unnecessary mistakes.

  • PRIOR ART SEARCH: What products are similar to your invention? Are there old, new or pending patents that might affect your ability to get meaningful protection of your Intellectual Property? Is there a current patent that might prevent you from choosing a particular design? Prior art patents may also give you ideas on how to improve your invention.

  • PROVISIONAL APPLICATION: A provisional patent application enables you to claim patent pending while securing the benefit of a filing date. If you want to preserve that date you'll need to file a formal utility patent application within one year in both the US and internationally. To maintain your priority the formal application must also be based on the Provisional and new information cannot be added. Pending patents cannot be enforced but most professional inventors (and Invention City) believe that a well-written Provisional filing provides adequate coverage for presenting an invention to prospective licensees.

    • Do-It-Yourself: Filing a Provisional on your own at the USPTO as a micro-entity costs just $65. If you want to do this on your own we suggest you buy Patent It Yourself as a guide. You can also search the web and the USPTO site to learn how to do it. If you want something more structured but still essentially on your own, offers . There are many pitfalls in patent filings and professional help and consultation is recommended if you can afford it.

    • Provisional Filing with Consultation, Review and Drawings @ $525 (including filing fee and drawings - cost may be higher for complex patents). A registered patent agent under direction from Invention City works with you to uncover the details of your invention and then present those details in words and pictures. A well written provisional application provides a full description of your invention from multiple perspectives and makes it easier and less expensive to file a utility patent within the one year period. Get started with the Confidentiality Agreement and Quote Form below.

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This is an excellent Website

I have read and searched for years about patents and I'm very suberised to find most of the important and accurate detailed information on this website! I strongly recommend for everyone interested in painting his idea to take the full advantage of this information and read every thing on this website. Also, please don't trust anyone with your idea. If they see money in it they will steal it without any hesitation. And this is what happened to me years ago. A patent firm stole my idea and registered the patent in their name and sold it for a large plastic company . I didn't have the money and time to sue them. One more advice, before you start looking for a good idea to patent make sure there is a LARGE company that will be interested in buying your idea. For example, my friend searched and found a LARG company specialized in manufacturing irrigation systems. He then invented a better idea for irrigation pump and got a patent for it, then he sold it for this company for more then three million dollars. Good luck :)

by: Yuosif