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July 26, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Can I File for a Patent without having a Prototype?

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Hi, I'm John Rizvi, the patent Professor, I'm often asked whether you can get a patent without having a prototype? And the answer is absolutely, you don't have to have a working model or prototype of your idea in order to get a patent. All that is needed is the ability to Describe how your invention is made and used. If you have rough sketches of your concept, that would definitely help but it's not necessary. The problem in waiting for a prototype to be developed, or working on a working model is that while you are perfecting your idea, somebody else might race to the patent office and file first. And this is because in 2013, the US underwent the single biggest change in patent law in this century, we moved from a first to invent system, which rewarded the first inventor to a first to file system. And today, it doesn't matter who invented first, if they are beaten to the patent office by somebody else who gets their application in first. As such, if you have a new idea, it's essential that you raise to the patent office and get your filing in. Because if you focus on your prototype, or you're futzing around getting the prototype perfected, somebody else may just end up owning the idea and preventing you from doing anything with it. So file for the patent first, and then you can take your time on perfecting the prototype. You can make changes, you can make modifications, and you can do all of these things while you're fully protected. If you have other questions, give me a call.

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