Individuals can search through patents and patent applications at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The searches are available online at patft.uspto.gov/. Prior to hiring an attorney to file a patent application or filing the patent application on your own, search through the existing patents and patent applications to be sure that there are none existing on your invention.

Your invention must be original material. The patent office will not grant a patent for an item for which they have already granted a patent. They will not grant a patent to an item that already has a patent application on it. Your invention must be considerably different from any similar inventions listed in the search results. The patent office also will not grant a patent on pure ideas.

Once you have determined that your work is completely original, find an attorney to help you file the patent. Rocket Lawyer can help you find a patent lawyer, but if you choose to file a patent application on your own, we also provide a free Provisional Patent Application.

Get started Create Your Provisional Patent Application Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Create Your Provisional Patent Application Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.