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Do I need a prototype to apply for a patent?

| Jun 23, 2021 | Firm News

The innovation process is exciting. Sometimes it starts as a brainstorming session, and sometimes it starts as a sketch. Other times it may begin with a dream or a moment of imagining a better way to do something familiar.

As you work through developing your idea, you may start to think about getting a patent and the requirements for filing your application. While you do not need a working prototype to file your application, there are several critical components.

Here’s what you should know about filing a patent application for your invention.

The role of a prototype

A prototype does not make sense for all inventions, but for some, it can play an essential role in developing your idea. When you can take your concept from notes and drawings and create a sample of your idea, it can help you with marketing and other promotion of your vision.

A prototype can also be a springboard for improvements on the functionality and design of your idea. As you see first-hand how it works and how a user may interact with it, you may see new ways to improve your product.

What must I include in the patent application?

The patent application process can take a long time. Your idea does not need to be wholly finalized to start and submit your application. However, there are a few essential parts to your application, such as:

  • A written description of your invention
  • Drawings (when appropriate)
  • An oath or declaration that you are the original inventor
  • All applicable fees

Each element of the application may have specific legal requirements, so it is helpful to talk to a professional with experience supporting patent applications.