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Is a Prototype Necessary for Patent Registration?

Is it necessary to produce a prototype before registering a patent? Inventors are often interested to know if it is necessary to produce a prototype in order to file a patent application. Some inventors avoid registering a patent due to misgivings they have over the costs involved in building a prototype.

In order to file a patent, there is no need to produce a prototype. The Patent Authority does not require the patent applicant to exhibit a working model or prototype; it requires the technical specifications of how the invention operates. It is therefore possible to submit principle sketches that demonstrate the invention.

At the initial idea stage, some inventors have insufficient technical details to register a patent. A technical team can help the inventor prepare all the necessary technical details to pass on to the patent attorney who will draft and edit the patent application.

Whilst not necessary, a model or prototype can sometimes aid the patent registration process. The patent attorney may meet with the Patent Authority’s examiner for an interview, during which time the patent attorney can present a physical model of the invention to the patent examiner, to demonstrate how it works, and thereby impress the patent examiner with the invention.

In other words, there is no need to build a model or to produce a prototype in order to receive a registered patent, but a model can help the inventor further promote his invention. The model can be useful for its ability to present a working model to potential investors and companies that may be interested in the invention. It may also be useful during the patent development stage, as building a model can enable the technical team to find new solutions and additional technical details that may be worthwhile to add to the patent application. This can result in an expansion of the scope of protection the patent will offer.
 
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