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What is a Create-It-Yourself (CIY) patent?

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What is a Create-It-Yourself (CIY) patent as opposed to a Do-It-Yourself patent?

Create-It-Yourself is when you get to do all the fun parts related to making something new

like designing the flames emblazoned on the side of your Mustang or choosing the exact ingredients in your gluten-free nutrition bars, without having to do the hard work of stencil painting or wheatless cooking yourself.

Recently I have been reading a book by Anthony Flynn and Emily Flynn Vencat titled Custom Nation. The book discusses how we are becoming a nation of customizers. We want everything customized from our build-it-yourself hamburgers and on-demand video streaming to our custom homes. The book shares, in part:

CUSTOM NATION

Before the Industrial Revolution, customization was the norm because we did everything ourselves, like cooking stews and sewing curtains. But today’s customization isn’t Do-It-Yourself (DIY), it’s Create-It-Yourself, or what I like to call CIY. Create-It-Yourself is when you get to do all the fun parts related to making something new, like designing the flames emblazoned on the side of your Mustang or choosing the exact ingredients in your gluten-free nutrition bars, without having to do the hard work of stencil painting or wheatless cooking yourself.

The book makes a great point. While DIY forces you to do everything on a project, including the less than fun parts of the project, CIY allows you to just do the fun parts of a project.

The same principle applies to patents. As an inventor, in-house counsel, or applicant, you likely do not want to sit down and explain in minute detail every aspect of your invention. You likely do want to be involved in the overall process and building assets for your company. So what are some of the CIY aspects of the patent process that enables you to customize your patent?

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How to come up with an idea for a patent.

Coming up with the idea

For most inventors, coming up with the idea and figuring out how to make it work is the most exciting part of an invention. 

This is also a crucial part of the patent process because you have to know how your invention works to be able to explain it to others. You also get to figure out other ways people might design around your invention and protect against this.

Creating drawings of your invention

It is also fun to see your invention come to life. As part of the patent process, you can come up with drawings and sketches to show what your invention is. The drawings and sketches are also a great way to explain your invention to others.

Provisional v. Non-Provisional Patent Application

If you are a start-up, a solo inventor, or just trying to decide if you want to invest in the preparation of a patent application, a provisional patent application is a great option. The provisional patent application is a cheaper option that holds your place for a year while you decide whether to invest in a full patent application. If you have already made up your mind and are ready to get going then a non-provisional patent application is the way to go.

Fast Track v. Normal Track

Sometimes you want your patent and you want it now. While it does take some time for a patent to go through the patent process, if you would like to get your patent more quickly, you can put it on a fast track and get it sooner.

Fast track your patent application.

Non-publication v. Publication

Do you want everyone to know what your invention is and how it works or do you want to keep it secret for as long as possible to keep your competition guessing? You can decide whether your patent is available to the public sooner or later.

What Countries to file your patent In

What countries are you going to be selling your invention? You can choose to only file for a patent in the US or file it in multiple countries.

File a foreign patent application.
Mark your product as patent pending.

Patent Pending Status

Next, to having an issued patent, it is always exciting to put patent pending on your product. Once you have filed your patent application, you can put patent pending on your product or website and let everyone know your patent is pending for your invention.

Distinguishing your invention from other inventions

When your patent is being examined by the patent process, you get a chance to see what other inventions are out there that may be related to your patent application. You can also help the patent attorney in strategizing how your invention is different from other inventions.

Getting an Issued Patent – Framing it as a plaque

When you finally make it all the way through the patent process and have an issued patent you should be proud of your invention. Now it is time to get a plaque to show your achievement. You can get your custom plaque at online stores such as iplax.com

Good luck with your inventing and your CIY patents!

A patent attorney for small businesses and start-ups.

Devin Miller (IP Attorney)

Electrical Engineer

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Small business owner

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