You are Never too Young (or Old)

      The youngest person to have even been granted a patent was four years old. FOUR! Granted on August 3, 1993, Patent 5,231,733 is an “Aid for grasping round knobs.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not have any age restrictions on inventors who would like to apply for a patent. In fact, there is an excellent children’s interactive website at inventnow.org where children of all ages can explore a gallery of patents, share their ideas, and, after filling out the provided forms, can receive an InventNow patent. As always though, the users of this site are reminded that if their idea really is a unique,  they should protect it through legal channels and may start the actual patent process online at the USPTO website.

     On the other end of the age spectrum, the USPTO’s Manuel for Patent Examination Procedure (MPEP) allows inventors applying for a patent who are over the age of 65 to petition for an earlier examination of their patent (See MPEP Rule 708.02). The USPTO wants to help these experienced inventors get patents issued faster!

     Thankfully, the USPTO has decided to grant protection and patents to people of all ages. There is no telling what someone can imagine or think that may change the world.       Any way you slice it, the USPTO has made it possible for all people to apply for a patent. Don’t let your age discourage you from filing for a patent (or trademark or copyright). Protect your idea before someone else does.