Creating a new invention is a lot of work even if a project starts out as fun. Many ideas that begin casually end up as important innovations and significant business opportunities. When a new product or a new component for an existing product is created, a patent provides protection for your idea and product. The patent application process can be a lot less friendly than tinkering, which makes investing in the services of a patent attorney a worthwhile pursuit.
Do-it-yourself versus outsourcing
While it is entirely possible to navigate the patent application process solo, it is so cumbersome that the United States Patent and Trademark Office recommends contracting the services of a patent lawyer or a patent agent for assistance in navigating patent law, regulations, and procedures. Obtaining a patent requires researching to determine if patent protection is the right fit, investigating if an invention can be patented, reviewing public disclosures, choosing a patent type, completing the application, and awaiting a review processing period for the USPTO to assess the application.
What does a patent attorney help with?
Patents are a lot more involved than just sending in sketches of a product and a brief description. There are nuances to filing and mistakes to avoid. The patent attorney provides significant value in ensuring the full scope of an invention is protected. For example, patents require very specific technical descriptions that fully describe an invention. This is necessary to double-check existing patents for any duplication. A patent attorney can also look beyond an initial prototype to ask questions about product variations. If a prototype was made of a specific type of wood, but this isn't necessary to ensure proper function, the attorney may broaden the scope and clarify that any wood can be used or that only certain types of wood should be used, such as hardwood or softwood.
Are there other options for patent help?
Patent attorneys bring extensive expertise when hired to help with an application and subsequent patent protection. They are skilled in not only traditional law but have extensive additional study in patents and are licensed by the USPTO. While they can help with the full process of obtaining a patent, patent attorneys can also be hired to review applications and materials that you complete independently. With this, you can rest assured any common mistakes are noticed and corrected before the patent office starts a review while saving funds due to the lesser demands of review versus creation.
Contact a local patent lawyer, such as Robert Bakin, to learn more.