Yes, you certainly can file for patent protection on your own. You can even use an online service to try and help you with the process. There are a number of reasons why people don’t use patent attorney’s:
- Cost – using me or another patent attorney can be expensive.
- Lack of knowledge – some inventors do not know where to begin.
- Time – you can file the application at your convenience, not at the schedule of the patent attorney.
But, there are a lot of potential downfalls:
- Without knowledge of the law in the area you risk not following the latest court holdings and having your patent rejected.
- You must adhere to a very specific format, vocabulary, grammar and syntax.
- You must respond to any office actions (rejections of your claimed invention) with the proper legal arguements.
- The Examiner at the USPTO is an attorney and you must be prepared to deal with that person on a professional level.
In the 30 years that our firm has existed and prosecuting patents, I have knowledge of 2 people that have successfully prosecuted a pro se (advocating on one’s own behalf) application. One was a patent attorney (doesn’t really count) and the other was an inventor that had prosecuted more than 40 patents through our firm previously. The inventor did have an attorney at the firm review his pro se application before he filed it, and then declared he would never do it again.
Believe it or not, drafting a patent application is not a simple as reading one of the many books on the subject, or buying software that may or may not help you.
The worst outcome is that you lose all rights in your invention by failing to respond to an office action. You may also limit the value of your invention by claiming too little or incorrectly claiming your invention.
However, if you still want to go it alone, please look at the all the resource available to you on the USPTO website.
How Can I Help?
If you need help to file a patent, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +