Understanding your invention is the first step in obtaining a patent. You need to identify what makes it new and useful. For example, if you have designed a pair of custom scissors with a unique handle and finger bands, as well as additional pivots that allow for precise cutting of thin fabric, you should research any related publications, presentations, sales brochures, patent applications, or issued patents that may be similar to your invention or its components. You can also file a provisional patent application if you want to leave room for further development of the idea. Design patents protect the appearance of an item, while utility patents protect the way an item is used and functions.
It usually takes about a year to file the official patent application (also known as a utility patent).The USPTO will review the patent application within 4 to 6 months or up to 3 to 5 years after it has been filed. You should find out how to file a patent application, whether you need an attorney or can do it yourself, and what it means to have a patent pending. The examiner will decide if the patent application meets the legal requirements for obtaining a patent. After that, the patent application will be examined on its merits and an administrative complaint will be filed if it is rejected. It is important to remember that patents are useless if you cannot defend your idea in court against someone who infringes your patent.
You can also file a design patent application for the distinctive appearance of finger rubbers, in addition to or instead of a utility patent application.