how to find out if an idea has been patented
how do i do a patent search - Learn about using the USPTO's AppFT product for searching patent applications.What Does Useful Mean?
The patent law specifies that inventions must be useful, which means have a useful purpose. Being useful also includes operativeness, meaning that an invention must operate or perform its intended purpose.How much money do I need for patenting?
The amount of money you need for patenting will vary depending on the type of patent application you submit. Fees may also vary according to the way you claim your ideas.The Three Different Types of Patents Issued By The USPTO
Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents a useful process, a machine, an article of manufacture, or a composition of matter. Examples: fiber optics, computer hardware, or medications. Utility patent can be provisional or non-provisional. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Examples: the look of an athletic shoe, a bicycle helmet, and the Star Wars characters. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plants. Examples: Hybrid tea roses, Silver Queen corn, Better Boy tomatoesPatenting and USPTO Patent Applications - What is a patent? What kinds of patents are there? What is the USPTO?
Some people may confuse patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Although there may be some similarities, they are different and serve different purposes. Read What Do I Need? or Understanding Intellectual Property if you need to understand the differences better. Patents and trademarks are both issued by the USPTO.