The patent process starts when an inventor comes up with a new idea. It is aimed at protecting the invention of an individual or company. The inventor has to write a disclosure which is a document outlining his or her invention. If the designer was working with a company, the company might like to have them included in the patent. You will need a specialist who will guide you to incorporate the company in the patent. The details in the disclosure will vary. But you will have to write details which anybody with even minimal knowledge can understand what the patent is all about.
If you prefer involving a lawyer in your process for legality issues, then you will need a disclosure meeting where you will have to discuss with the lawyers about the details of the invention. It is necessary to give your copyright lawyer all details about your device so that he can prepare the legal document which will capture all details about your invention. The inventor will have to clearly define some of the competition in the market so that the lawyer will know how his invention is different from other patents in the market.
In the prosecution stage, you will have to present your document entailing all details about your invention to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The office will issue some office actions so that you can know the condition of your patent. The officers will search in the database of patents and look for areas where your patent is similar to already existing arts. If it is found that your invention has some similarities with other arts available, the officers will offer a report for rejection of the patent so that you can do some revisions on your invention before you file the patent. To avoid rejections, it is necessary for you to carry out a patent search and know areas where your invention may be similar to others already filed.
If after careful search and review of your application it is found that the patent is allowable, the officers from USPTO will offer a notice of allowance. The notice indicates the fee you will have to pay so that your patent can be printed. It is necessary for you to have the certificate because it protects your invention from unauthorized use. With a patent, you can have control on how your invention can be used. It allows inventors to earn from their inventions.
I you file for the patent and you receive several rejections, you can assess the ground under which your patent was rejected and apply for an appeal. The appeal allows you to raise objections if the office according to your opinion did not do enough searches before rejecting your application. The appeal process may delay your issuance, but you can speed up the process if you can revise the document and make necessary changes to areas where the examiner pointed out to reject the claim. The enforcement of patent allows you to sue anybody who can use your invention without your permission.