Filing a Patent Application

Once you have conducted a patent search and understand what elements of your invention are novel and patentable, it’s time to file a patent application. A patent application typically includes:

 

  • An abstract, which briefly summarizes the details of your invention.
  • A specification, which describes the invention in full. This includes:
    • The background of the invention.
    • A discussion of any prior art documents included in the information disclosure sheet.
    • A brief summary of the invention
    • A list of the views shown in the included drawings
    • A detailed description of the drawings.
  • Any necessary drawings that show how to make and use the invention.
  • The list of claims being made. These are the heart of the patent application, as the claims detail the novel portions of the device for which you are seeking protection. It is critical that the claims be adequately explained by the aforementioned drawings and specification.
  • An inventor’s oath or declaration, in which you state that the person filing the claim was authorized to do so, and that you believe yourself to be the original inventor of your invention.
  • An application data sheet that contains the names, addresses and nationalities of the inventors, along with the name and address of the assignee, if there is one. It also contains some basic information about the rest of the filing, including the invention’s title, and the number of claims being filed.
  • A power of attorney, which allows a registered patent attorney to prosecute the application on your behalf.
  • An information data sheet, which contains the results of the patent search that are pertinent to the material in the application.

 

Patent applications are costly and complex. Get a patent lawyer to help.

 

If you’re serious about patenting your invention, it’s highly advisable to contact a patent lawyer. Registered patent attorneys break down the complexity of patent applications into zones:

 

  • A patent application invention is minimally complex when it has a ten-page specification and ten claims.
  • A patent application is relatively complex when it has a 10-20 page specification and 10-20 claims.
  • A patent application is very complex when it requires more than a twenty-page specification and more than twenty claims.

 

The cost of a patent application generally depends on its complexity, with a minimally complex application typically costing about $7,000. Costs go up from there. But these costs can also vary depending on the application of the invention. A relatively complex biotechnology or chemical application can cost $12,000, while a relatively complex mechanical application may cost $8,000. None of these estimated costs include USPTO fees, which the inventor must pay directly to the patent office.

 

Many inventors are caught off guard by the expense of having a patent attorney handle their patent application, and are tempted to take the DIY approach. To be fair, most inventors could probably draft the required supplemental documents without much difficulty. However, the patent application itself requires a great deal of skill to draft. For instance, claims must be written in a very specific way, using grammar that would be abhorrent in just about all other situations. For example, each claim must be written as a single sentence that is broken up into elements and led by a preamble. It is very difficult to do this properly without a lot of practice.

 

A registered patent attorney has passed an examination that requires the demonstration of the knowledge necessary to expertly assist clients in obtaining patent protection for a device. The patent office takes this very seriously. Attorneys without the proper registration are not allowed to submit patents to the patent office on behalf of clients.

 

The Law Office of Michael O’Brien has the knowledge and experience necessary to assist you in obtaining the best possible patent protection for your inventions. It’s not worth saving a little money now, at the risk of costing yourself far more in the long run.

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