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How can I get a patent?

The process of getting a patent is known as patent prosecution. The first step to getting a patent, after you actually invent something, is to conduct a patent search to make sure your invention has not already been patented. Assuming there is no existing patent covering your invention, your next step would be to prepare a patent application and file that application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Following the filing of your patent application, there is generally some back-and-forth discussion and negotiation between you and the Patent and Trademark Office regarding whether your invention meets all of the requirements necessary for being entitled to a patent. Ultimately, your patent application will either be granted or rejected.

This whole process takes several years, although the typical prosecution takes between one and two years.