Do You Have an Invention Idea?

So you have an invention idea. The next step is to determine if your idea is patentable. Patents are granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to protect inventions from being copied by others. If you want to make money from your invention, then you need to protect it with a patent as explained in details on

But before you do anything else, make sure that what you have is even worth protecting with a patent! Here’s how:

Invention Ideas vs. Inventions

It’s important to differentiate between an invention idea and an actual invention. An invention idea is just that — an idea for something that might be useful or interesting in some way. If it’s not actually useful or interesting at all, then it probably isn’t worth patenting either because no one will want to buy it (or copy it).

What Makes an Invention Idea Worth Patenting?

If your idea could be developed into a product or service that people would actually use, then there’s a good chance it would qualify as a legitimate invention worth protecting with a patent application:

It must be novel and non-obvious – that means nobody else has done this particular thing before (at least not if you do it exactly the same way).

It must have some practical use in the real world – it can’t be totally impractical or just a novelty item.

It must be able to be made into a tangible object (or process or method) that people could actually buy or use.

The idea must be unique to you – it can’t have been created by somebody else and patented already.

If your idea satisfies all of these criteria, then you should consider filing a patent application. If it doesn’t, then you should probably just let the idea go—it’s not worth protecting and nobody else will want to buy it from you anyway as you can read from


The patent process is a long and complicated one. Depending on the kind of product or invention you want to patent, it can take anywhere from 6 months to several years before your application is approved. However, it’s worth the wait because a patent gives you exclusive rights to your idea for a set period of time—usually 20 years from the date of filing. If someone else wants to use your idea after that time, they will have to pay you royalties for each item made.

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