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Preliminary Patent Application Process

Where do I start?

Applying for a patent can be a lengthy and confusing process, but we can help you along the way. Here is a basic list of the order in which this process usually works, with some variation:

  1. Find out if your invention is patentable. (see "patent basics" on the left)
    • Is your invention novel, unique, and non-obvious?
    • What type of patent would you like to apply for?
  2. Conduct a patent search.
  3. Decide whether or not you would like legal assistance. 
  4. File a patent application.

The USPTO website has several helpful guides.

Begin with The Patent Process Overview or Getting Started for other resources.

Patents at WSU

SOAR Logo Patents assigned to Wichita State University can be found in our Shocker Open Access    Repository (SOAR) online at


The USPTO has been working on new tools to help inventors and researchers:

MyUSPTO allows users to access the same USPTO databases and save their searches with a unique login.

PatentsView maps patent clusters geographically and according to technology or industry.

Annual Performance and Accountability Reports contain useful information such as patent pendency (the average time from filing to granting of a patent or trademark). You can download PDFs from 1993-2022 here.

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