The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) encourages
independent inventors who are not patent
professionals to file and prosecute their own patent
applications. Self-help books are useful guides for
navigating through the PTO’s many laws and rules.
When an inventor has an idea, he should document it,
have the document witnessed, search all public
records for novelty and unobviousness, and finally
file an application with the PTO. The inventor
defends his idea with an Examiner from the PTO and,
if all requirements are met, receives a patent that
grants the inventor a monopoly to make, use, and
sell his invention for a period of time.