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As you have probably guessed, getting a patent can be a terribly expensive process, especially if you hire the services of a patent attorney.

However, in some special circumstances, it could be possible to file for a U.S. patent for free by submitting an application marked as ‘special’.

Follow the steps to get your patent for free:

  • Make the necessary research to check that your invention and service isn’t already patented. You can do this by making a visit to the Public Search Facility. On the other hand, you can also run a patent search at a Parent and Trademark library available across the country.
  • Fill out the appropriate form for your patent application. There are three types of patent applications: A design patent, a new asexual botanical patent and the most regularly sought after patent that protects mechanical inventions as well as processes. All the relevant forms for every type of patent are available at the patent and trademark office as well as online on the USPTO website.
  • Submit a Petition to Make Special to the appropriate office of petitions that seeks special consideration of the patent application by the Associate Commissioner of Patent Examination Policy. The requirements for this type of petition can be found within the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure.
  • Statement of facts: It is crucial that you prepare a statement of facts to go along your petition and to explain in detail why your application should receive special consideration along with why the patent and other related filing fees should be omitted in your case. You should be able to highlight why your invention can be of benefit to the general public or the government; if you are in poor health; if your invention or service can be of significant benefit to the environment or how it can be beneficial towards counter terrorism.
  • Submit your patent application together with the Petition to Make Special, via registered mail to Mail Stop Petitions, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1550, Houston, Texas. Alternatively, you can also submit your patent online over the USPTO website.
  • If your petition is rejected, make sure you file an appeal. Upon your written request, the Board of Patent Appeals will look into an adverse decision made by the patent examiner and reconsider if a reversal of the decision can be make.

Learn more about what a patent is and how you can obtain one.