Helping startups to protect their ideas


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Your AI patent to-do-list

As we’ve established in previous blogposts (post1 - post2 - post3), AI ideas are patentable! Protect your idea from copycats and increase your idea’s value by leveraging patents. Follow our easy to-read, 5-step guide to learn how to patent your AI innovation.

What are those 5 steps?

Step 1: Learn about the patent process

Step 2: Find out if you’re first

Step 3: Prepare your patent

Step 4: File!

Step 5: Go through examination


Step 1: Learn about the patent process

Your first instinct may be to think that learning about the patent process is a strange way to start. After all, learning about the patent process might not seem to directly contribute to getting a patent. But, what you don’t know about patents can hurt you!

It’s in your best interest to learn about the patent process for yourself to understand exactly what you need. You could go directly to a patent attorney, without doing the prep work for yourself first. However, you may find yourself caught in a ploy for money—because a patent attorney will sell you what they think you need. You know your idea best—and it’s up to you to make sure that you don’t end up paying for services that you don’t need—at least right now.

Think about a legal firm’s incentive—patent attorneys typically charge by the hour. For every minute you spend talking to an attorney, that’s another minute billed to your invoice – and you’re paying for it. Don’t waste your money paying for information that you could get for free somewhere else.

If you’ve done your homework, you have control over the patent process. You’ll know what you need – and when you need it, resulting in the best possible patent for your idea. And you’ll know what to do, every step of the way.

Let’s not forget that having full control over the patent process means that you have full control over the price that you pay. You’ll know exactly what to pay for that best patent for your idea.

After you’ve done your homework, the next step is…


Step 2: Find out if you’re first

Patents are a winner-takes-all process. The first to file wins! And this isn’t a “metaphorical” first to file—you literally need to put in your application before your competitors, or you may end up out of luck. It can even come down to a matter of days!

Patents only have a single winner – and lots of losers

One component of winning the patent race is filing quickly. Yet, there’s another point to consider before you file: whether you’re the first to file. You may have thought of the next Uber, but did you consider whether someone already thought of your idea? Or, even more importantly—did someone else not only think of your amazing idea, but actually file for a patent?

Uh-oh – if someone files for a patent before you (for a similar idea), you could be blocked.

How do you know if you’re the first?

A patentability search is the best way to find out if you’re first. It involves you searching for specific information on everything that has been published about your idea--patents, patent applications, magazine articles, books, websites, and more.

As an entrepreneur, you’re naturally inclined to be mindful of your budget. There’s no use in spending lots of $$$$ before you understand whether you’re the first to file.  

Google is a great tool to start your search. Google has two useful tools to help you get started – its regular search engine tool, and its special patent search tool. The special patent search tool can also be used to search through scientific literature and other relevant publications. It includes an abundance of information about the patents, which can help you hone in on your search to make it relevant to your specific idea. Check out this link for the special patent search tool:  

If you want a tool that’s even easier to use, try Google’s basic patent search tool, available here:

The Google patent search tool works just like the regular Google search engine. You put in keywords and it returns relevant patents. Similar to a regular Google search engine, the patent search tool uses all of Google’s knowledge to understand which words and concepts are related. You get the great Google search experience, but focused on patents.

And of course, it’s free. Do the search for yourself and find out if you are first!

If you’re interested in learning about Steps 3-5 (preparing your patent, filing it, and the examination process), we invite you to join KISSPatent’s free Patent Community Center. We provide free, up-to-date information on tech topics and patents for members—all for free! It only takes a minute to register, and you’ll gain access to a wealth of information.

AIDvorah Graeser