General Question

pcmonkey's avatar

Can you patent just an idea?

Asked by pcmonkey (424points) October 6th, 2012

I’m 15 and have a great idea for an [very technology advanced] invention. Because I am only in high school, I don’t have the correct knowledge or understanding on how to produce this invention. I heard to get a patent on a product, you must make a stereotype/model… I don’t know how to make a stereotype/model. I don’t want to let this idea go to waste. So is it possible to just get a patent on an idea itself?

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6 Answers

DrBill's avatar

You can get a patent pending, which is pending a working model. It will preserve the idea as your own, but I do not know if there is a time limit or not. It would behoove you to speak to a patent attorney about it.

flutherother's avatar

You can patent an idea but your patent would have to describe how you would put your idea into practise. You don’t need to make a working model but your patent should describe in detail how your invention could be made by an expert in that field.

gondwanalon's avatar

Yes you can patten your idea.

Today (10–6-12) submitted my idea for my invention here
I don’t know how much it will cost.

But if you have no money then you could write up a complete description of your invention including diagrams and then e-mail it to yourself and a trusted family member or friend to establish a record of the date when you came up with your idea. Then later when you have enough money to patten your idea your established idea date could be very helpful if someone else submitted the same idea as yours. It you can prove that you came up with the idea first then you will likely get the patten.

Good luck!

PhiNotPi's avatar

In order to patent something, you do not have to build a working model. However, you must be able to describe in detail how the device will work, and (in the best case scenario) provide a blueprint for such a device.

Since it sounds like you only have an idea as to what the device will do, but not how it will work, it does not seem like you can get a patent.

Here is everything you need to know about filing a utility patent (the type of patent on an invention).

The best thing I can advise you to do is to start researching to figure out how to such a device could work.

gasman's avatar

Patenting your invention isn’t necessarily a good idea. Take a look at this page first, especially “The Case Against Patents” (it’s a pdf) by noted electronics wizard Don Lancaster.

danneilhunk's avatar

No, you can’t patent a thought only on the grounds that you trust you are the first individual to think of it. A patent is there to ensure an ‘innovation’, not just a thought. When you seek a patent what you are doing is indicating, through content and drawings, how your innovation functions.Subsequently to have the capacity to patent your by patent attorney Australia, idea needs to be reasonable,straightforward and immediate terms.

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