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How Do I Qualify for and Obtain Patent P... > The USPTO Patent Application - Pg. 156

A Primer on Intellectual Property 156 Patents do not protect ideas or suggestions as such, only machines, processes, or other instru- mentalities embodying those ideas or suggestions. Patents are not available for laws of physics or nature, or mathematical principles like pure algorithms. However, applying an algorithm to create a useful, tangible result is patentable subject matter. This means that patents may be sought for software instructing a processor to convert data into figures on a screen (like a console game). The USPTO Patent Application Acquiring a patent is a long, expensive process that often takes more than two years and costs over $10,000, including attorney's fees. The application fees alone range from $375 to $750. The patent application is very complex and requires significant specific knowledge, making it almost a require- ment that an experienced patent attorney (preferably with experience in drafting the kind of patent you're after) prepare your application. The application will describe the invention and include some illustration. The claim of the patent is whatever elements you seek to have protected. Claims must be written according to very particular standards, and generally require the assistance of an attorney. Note NOTE Unlike copyrights and trademarks,only the inventor may actually applyfor the protection; the inventor maythen assign the registration to acompany who will own the patent. Note NOTE If the code must be disclosed inthe application, it will lose itstrade secret protection, but canbe protected with a copyright. Some software applicants are eligible for a protected application that can maintain the trade secrecy