patent info organized by Keyword (patent encyclopedia)

your Google search is likely discussed in here! most patent-related searches are addressed

If you arrived at this site inquiring about "patent information", "how to get a patent", "what is a patent", "getting a patent", "patent filing", "patent application drafting", "patent your idea", "how to patent a product", "how to patent my idea", "protect your idea", "how can i patent my idea", "what inventions can be patented", "where to get a patent", "patent application format", "protect my idea", and/or something similar, then you are in the right place! 

Information about the form and content of a typical patent application can be found here.

This section is made for people who want to learn about the patent system, and are seeking information on the patent process. Either to do it themselves, or to hire a professional.


Be an informed inventor! Many inventors file their own patent applications, and this site shows how to at least start that process.

Still, if you want to hire patent counsel, you have several choices, but one of them is shown here.


If you arrived at this site looking for information regarding . . . "patent information", "how to get a patent", "what is a patent", "getting a patent", "patent application form", "patent filing", "patent application drafting", "how to patent a product", "how to get patent rights", "where to get a patent", "patent application format",. . . and/or something similar, then you are in the right place! Information about the form and content of a typical patent application can be found here.

All Utility patent applications must have a specification, drawings, and claims, among other things. However, the requirements for Provisional patent applications are much more flexible. Still, a Provisional application should always contain a Specification and Drawings. Ideally, it is best to keep these separated. And include lots of both.

Can you patent an idea without a prototype? YES! The patent statutes requires only that you fully disclose the relevant features of an invention, there is no requirement that you actually build a version.  HOWEVER, the best advancements usually occur when someone has gone to the trouble of building something. Still, many many successful patents are Issued that were never ever built.

The queries "how to file a patent application", "how to apply for a patent", "how do i get something patented", "how do you file a patent", "patent filing procedure", and "how to file a patent" all have the same answer. Its not easy, but you can do it yourself. OR, you can hire counsel. Either way, no matter what, there are a lot of steps, time, and expense in the patent process,

and it will require a lot of work by the inventor. If you want, ask us more about this.

Regarding the query "do I need a patent?", the answer is "its possible". At a cost (FILING FEES only) of $70/$140, filing a provisional patent application is probably a good safe inve$tment ($70 micro entity / $140 small entity). But do NOT assume that having a patent application or even an Issued patent will make your invention or business any more marketable. Patents usually have very little to do with whether an invention does well or not.

Moving to "working with the patent office", this is one one of our favorite inquiries. Nobody, absolutely no-one, gets a patent Issued without working with the Patent Office at least to some extent. You can either hire counsel, or do it yourself, but someone is going to be working with the Patent Examiner, or there will not be a Patent Issued. Know that. Accept that. Also be aware that the job of a patent Examiner is very tightly constrained, they have only a limited amount of flexibility to help you.

Regarding "invention patent", "patent application", "patent my invention", "patent rights", "get patent", "invention process", "to patent something",

"a patent", "how to patent your product", "patent system", "example of invention", "patent info", "apply for a patent", "patent your invention", this site certainly addresses these issues. However, without more information, its unclear where within this site to direct such inquiries. If you want, ask us more about this.

Regarding "patent prosecution", this is a fun expression, suggesting that the patent process has criminal aspects. It does not, but the word-pun is still amusing, as it sometimes feels like the Examiner is treating us as a criminal.

Regarding the queries "how to create a patent", "inventions and patents" (not the same, not synonymous), "how do i apply for a patent", "how to patent a surgical instrument", "patent application procedure", "how to write a patent", "patent application template", and "how to do a patent", this site includes template patent files and patent illustrations intended to clarify one potential format for a patent application. These are located here.

However, as always, the very best way to learn the format of a patent application is to read and understand Issued patents, particularly Issued patents in one's specific field. Full-text-searchable Issued patents are available for free at both as well as

Regarding "patent document", "patent example", which we will interpret as "examples of Issued Patents", it is possible to review and download literally millions of patents from the US patent database, at  This includes full-searchable text. Every inventor should want to read lots of patents by other inventors, particular in their chosen field. Doing so can be very helpful in understanding how to set up a patent disclosure.

However, such reading should NOT be performed for providing assurance that "no one else has done this". That is an example of a false-assurance, and a misreading of the US patent database.

Instead, such reading should be for understanding the format of a patent disclosure, of drawings, and of various aspects of the patent process which can only be ingested by assimilation. 

Next, the inquiry "can you sell a patent" is perhaps mis-phrased. A better way to phrase the question would be "can you LICENSE a patent", and the answer would be YES. But the assumption here would be that the patent would be protecting a concept that is cash-flowing, and generating Actual (non-hypothetical) cash flowing into an Actual (non-hypothetical) bank account and being Declared on an Actual (non-hypothetical) Tax Return.

A mere patent, by itself, that is not associated with a commercially viable product, is very seldom worth anything. However, there is an entire industry based on asserting such unfulfilled patents in Federal Court. This is not a good business model, and is seldom successful at anything other than keeping attorneys busy.

Regarding the inquiry "patent office website", that is All inventors interested in patent protection should be aware of this site.

Regarding the inquiries "how do i patent something", "patent it myself", "intellectual property registration", "how patents work", "how do i get a patent for my idea", "patent something", "how do you get something patent", "how to file for patent", "how to get something patented", this site should be able to at least get someone started. The phrase "intellectual property  registration" is unclear, and its possible this refers to Trademarks rather than Patents. Anyone interested in more information about trademarks can check out this site, which again is mainly informational, intended to be used as a resource, contains lots of examples, and is not trying to sell anything. The expression "register a patent" is occasionally used, and although it is slightly incorrect, most people will understand the intended meaning.

In the end, because these inquiries are kind of vague, its unclear where to further direct them. If you want, ask us more about this.

Moving on to the inquiries "how to register a patent", "patent register", and "patent registration process", the semantics of these inquiries are incorrect. Patents never get Registered, they (may) get Issued. Trademarks get Registered, and that is a very different process than patents. Instead, the inquiry will be read as "how to OBTAIN a patent", or better yet, "how to get a patent Issued". This requires full participation in the patent process, all the way through, including completely obeying the patent statutes for Utility patent applications. Meanwhile, the information within this site is directed more for inventors wanting to file for provisional patent.

Regarding the inquiries "intellectual property patent law", "patent yourself", "us patents", "patent process", "patent an invention", "obtaining a patent", "how do you apply for a patent", "how to patent your invention", "patent writing", "file for patent", "patent law", "process of getting a patent", "american patent", "how to file a patent application", these appear to refer to the patent filing process itself, for the most part. If so, an excellent YouTube video exists very clearly demonstrating how the electronic filing process works. No attorney is required. The landing (front) page of this website points to a YouTube channel which makes this video available. The video was created by the Inventors Learning Center (, a non-profit organization which tries to help inventors.


If you arrived at this site looking for information about "patent illustrator", "patent art", "patent drawings", "formal patent drawings" and/or something similar, then you are in the right place! Numerous examples of patent drawings can be found here.


If you arrived at this site inquiring about "patents and crowdfunding", "crowdfunding and patents", "crowdfunding a patent", and/or something similar, then you are in the right place!  Crowdfunding and the patent process have many important components in common. Some of the work you do in setting up your crowdfunding campaign can be used in your patent application. However, the specific details are difficult to briefly explain.

Suffice to say, one (not the only) suitable strategy would be to take all the invention-related information in the crowdfunding campaign, and file that with the US Patent Office in a Provisional application. Yourself!  Without an attorney!  Learn more about how this works here.


Regarding "books on patents" "patent discussion", "books describing patents", "books explaining patents", "books explaining the patent system", "books describing the patent system", 

"books about patents", and "books describing patents", this website has a carefully curated assortment of useful books on this subject. These can be found here.


If you searched on "patent discussion", "patent audio discussion", "patent podcast", this site hosts a very limited set of recordings, which can be found here.


If your concern is "how much to patent a name", "protect my brand", "how to patent a slogan", "trademark my brand", "protect a brand", "how to patent a word", "can you patent a name", these are not patent-related inquiries, but instead trademark-related.

Certainly feel free to ask us your trademark questions directly here, but this is more of a patent site (note the URL  Our trademark site is, and the above questions, and many others, are answered there.


If you search on "method patent", "product and process patent", we are happy to discuss this! And this is an intelligent search, and we wish more inventors were informed on this. Its a very often-overlooked aspect of patent law. 


Because Provisional patent applications are so low-cost (as low as $70/apiece), we always like to recommend inventors self-file lots of Provisional applications. Depending on how much the invention pivots and changes, and also on how many offers for sales and public disclosures are made, there are ways to "ladder" Provisional and even Utility patent filings . This is somewhat similar to a "bond ladder" strategy. Its hard to briefly explain, except that doing lots of patent filings at hopefully low cost is a patent strategy that can have better than average RoI.


It is possible to file new and distinct Provisional patent applications any time you want, and put anything in it you want. Just remember, each separate Provisional has a separate filing date and conveys a separate bundle of legal rights.  However, in some cases, these legal rights can be combined. That is, a Utility patent application can claim Priority to >1 Provisional filing. This in a way provides a “best of both worlds” scenario. An inventor can achieve multiple filing dates (important), and yet obtain multiple sets of coverage.

Once an inventor gets to Utility stage, its necessary to be a bit more committed to a specific embodiment. At Utility stage, strive for at least 20 pages of Specification (text) and at least 15 pages of drawings).

Prior to Utility stage, inventors should feel free to experiment, try out different versions and embodiments of their invention(s), and write up and file the ones they think will sell.

There is another feature of this filing-strategy that corresponds to bond-laddering. That is letting certain of the lower rated bonds expire. If interest rates go up, do not renew that bond. By the same token, if one invention does not appear to be on a good path towards commercialization, while another invention does, allow the "dud" Provisional to just lapse (expire), without transforming it into Utility.

There are many other factors involved in doing this, such as 35 USC 102 implications, but this portion of the website is intended to explain patent laddering, not give legal advice.


No, this has nothing to do with getting your favorite patent staggeringly drunk. Instead, its a patent-strategy that is a derivative of patent-laddering. Patent staggering refers to an inventor that is doing regular improvements and alterations to one or more inventions, including unrelated inventions. The word "staggering" relates to doing this according to some kind of schedule, e.g. every 3 months, dropping all new drawings, photographs, spreadsheets, and write-up into PDF files and then self-filing them.  At $70/filing, its a cost-effective way to make sure innovations all get covered as they happen.

This is especially helpful for an inventor who is working on e.g. 5 different inventions, and is unsure which of them may be the first to commercialize. Put them all into one single omnibus filing, and throw the whole thing into the patent office for $70.


Inventors can file their own patent applications. An attorney is not required. But its NOT EASY. Click the button below to see more about this.

file your own patent? avoid an attorney? YES YOU CAN

patent searches, why these are misunderstood

The number one single biggest inventor-myth, canard, and inaccuracy is on patent searching. Get your straight facts! Be informed!

patent searches: what you are really getting

costs of patent filings, economics of patents; how to select patent counsel

Regarding patents, make sure you understand what you will be spending, and that you understand the RoI!  Its very uncertain!  Think of patents more as "invention insurance", a legally required instrument, but one in which the RoI is often very diffused.

costs of patents, patent-economics

provisional v. utility v. international patents, why this choice is difficult

The difference between a Provisional patent application versus a Utility patent application versus an International patent application are large, and profound. Its important than an inventor have some idea of how these play off each other. But its very deep and difficult to briefly explain, thus is given its own separate page. This condensed explanation appears at the link below.

which type of patent should I file?

patent books and podcasts

For those inventors who want to immerse themselves in real-world examples of patent success, either through film or Shark Tank or other, we offer a selection of curated media that we recommend. 

patent books and media