Advice on Patents


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Advice on Patents

So , you've invented something.

That's just great! 

Okay, now what?

Getting a Patent!

For most individuals the invention is the easy part.

 Most people who have invented a product, did so in response to a problem or recurring annoyance. With necessity being the mother of invention, they try to find a solution that will eliminate the difficulty, or at least make it easier to deal with.

 This is actually the easy part. That's due to the fact the problem is self explanatory. After all, it's easy to tell what the difficulty is, or where the most time is lost. 

Now you've worked out all the bugs, made a working prototype, and dealt with the naysayers. It should  be a simple matter of visiting a patent attorney for a minute to get some advice on patents.

He's given you some practical patent information and a few money saving patent tips. You leave there, confident in his abilities to save money on patents.

It's almost as though he knows someone in the patent office! He's even going to do the patent search online to save some time. Who knew you could work with the patent office online.

You may as well head to a local beer distributer and pick up a six pack to take home and celebrate your good fortune. The patent is as good as gotten.

 Now's a good time to start planing your investment funds. The phone is probably already ringing from companies wanting to offer you millions for your invention. Ah, life is good!


 As an individual inventor, the tough part is just about to start. It is quite difficult to know where to begin. There is an incredible amount of questions to be answered regarding protection of your idea or product. There are even more answers than questions, some good, some not so good. This site is dedicated to providing the answers needed about how to get a patent.

 Unfortunately, most inventors are generally not educated in the area of patenting a product. Most have no clue where to start. After all most inventions made by individuals are somewhat accidental.

 Even though they were searching for an answer, or solution to make their life easier, often the results are doubtful, even to the inventor. Why do you think it's not called WD-39? Forty attempts to get the formula right. Most people would give up after twenty, or two!

 What is even far less likely, is that the inventor will have even a remote idea of what to do next. This is hardly what they teach in high school.

 Learning the patent process is not learned quickly, or by using the same strengths you used in the inventing process.

 The amount of time required to learn the process is considerable. The information is specialized enough that even most attorneys aren't licensed to provide patent services.

 That is not to say they aren't smart enough to qualify. It simply means that they didn't choose to enter this area of law, so haven't jumped through the hoops required to get licensed for this area of law.

 The United States Patent Office provides a list of qualified patent attorneys. They do not endorse or recommend any of them, or at least aren't supposed to. 

 For the layman, it is a difficult and very time consuming process. The sheer size of the Patent Office web site is an intimidating and extensive amount of information to sift through.  

 So for many inventors, it becomes a matter of opening a phone book, doing an internet search, or stumbling across a late night infomercial.

 That amounts to placing your financial well being in the hands of what is usually a complete stranger. Unless of course you're fortunate enough to have a patent attorney in the family, you really are at the mercy of the attorney, or invention promotion service.

 Based on the comments on the USPTO, (United States Patent and Trademark Office), website, an area to avoid is falling for one of these "invention promotion services". While some are legitimate, many are not. The patent office is not able to help you in any way with difficulties arising from using these services. You're on your own.

Now the Good News

 Armed with some readily available information, you can be a little more at ease about the process. Although finding those bits of information can take tens or even hundreds of hours.

 There are a number of processes considered standard operating procedures, for many Patent Attorneys. This is a result of them streamlining the process to enable them to handle greater volume. It is their lively hood after all. And in the interest of self preservation, it's not always the best or cheapest way to go for the inventor.

 Some of the streamlining process is nothing short of throwing your hard earned money away. Again, "BUYER BEWARE".

There are no industry standards or regulations regarding what can be charged for the services provided by any patenting agent.

For advice on a personal basis
For advice on an individual basis, or regarding a particular question, contact us directly by submitting your information here.

We will contact you as soon as possible.

All answers requiring an attorney will be forwarded to a registered patent attorney.

There may be a fee associated with this, although initial consultations are generally free of charge.

 © Lee A. Jesberger - 2008

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