How to apply for a utility patent for an invention in US?

What is the procedure of this process?

What are any other important details?

Can a US base technology patent be extend to EU?


  • 3
    You need to add more information if you would like to make this question narrow enough to be answered. First where? Different countries have different laws. Second what? Some things are patentable, some aren't. Third, what have you looked at so far? We are not going to re-write the information that the internet holds. Please be specific about what you have found so far and what about it confuses you.
    – hazzey
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 0:19
  • In some administrations, at the VERY bottom end of the scale you can put everything you know in a document in very informal form and submit it as a provisional patent application. This is not examined in any way but gives you an internationally recognised priority date. Within one year you must submit a full patent application based on this material or lose the priority date. The closer you come to covering the points in Mahendra's answer the better the chance that the material will be useful. | Cost of doing the above may be minimal - eg about $US45 in New Zealand. Value depends on you.
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 13:28
  • Some useful information will be found in the answers to these related posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
    – Parker
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


Assumption: A technology based patent application will be submitted to United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO).

You need first investigate prior art. Essentially you have to validate if your invention is truly an invention. There few ways you can achieve this task.

  • Literature search - start with simple google search
  • Make sure you have clearly document your invention and another engineer has verified your work. Signature and dates are very important.
  • Do a local and international patent search? You can start with google patent. Do a patent search using United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) search tool. (Warning: This is a very painful process)

  • Develop an invention disclosure

  • Take all your finding and retain a good patent lawyer.

Patent Lawyers will further investigate your invention. If they determine that your invention is valid then they will file a patent application. At this point USPTO will communicate with your lawyer to further validate your patent. If USPTO is satisfied your invention then they will granted the patent. You can now really celebrate :-)

Important infomation:

  • A good patent lawyer in US chargers anywhere from US $500-$800 per hour
  • A good patent application could cost any where around $20,000 or more (cost is subjective will vary).
  • Be prepared to review other competing patents. I find this a very tedious and boring process.
  • Make sure you have resources to review patents from other countries/languages
  • Time from patent application accepted to grant could take more than 1+ years

Note: This is everything that I know.



If you want to apply for a patent on your own, just forget, don't even waste your time. If you have an affiliation, say, a university then they would take care of bureaucratic questions and fees. Usually, a university has an office that deals with patent applications and has its own application forms (which are no match to the actual patent application when it comes to writing effort!). You need to convince them first that your invention is worth a patent application. For that, you need to do an extensive literature (especially patent) review and clearly identify which of your ideas are actually novel. Then you can apply to your patent office.


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