Despite the recession, there are still a large number of individuals coming up with wonderful ideas, which they want to patent and exploit. The UK Intellectual Property Office will provide an inventor with an illustrated colour brochure explaining in layman’s terms how to write and file a patent application. But the real question an inventor should be asking is, “Should I write my own patent?” In my opinion, the simple answer is “No”, and here are the reasons why.
A patent is a document like no other. It is written using technical language to carefully and fully describe the features of an invention, but it is also a legal document defining in explicit terms the scope of protection sought for the invention. Furthermore, once filed, it is not possible to add subject matter to a patent application. A Patent Examiner may help you amend your application after filing to obtain a patent, but ultimately, is it worth the paper it is written on?
The primary motivation behind writing your own patent is to save the costs involved in using the services of a patent attorney like myself, and I fully understand this, particularly in these difficult financial times. Nevertheless, writing a patent is a highly skilled job and all Chartered Patent Attorneys are technically qualified, e.g. with an Engineering degree, and are legally qualified by way of professional examination. It is not unusual to spend 5 years or more qualifying as an Attorney post university, and it is clear to anyone who has tried to draft a patent that the skills required are many and demanding. If you did not find it so, then you have not understood the implications of your efforts.
As a further word of warning, there are also other dangers presented to the inventor, such as companies offering to draft patent applications without the necessary skills or regulation. If you are paying for a patent, my advice is to make sure that the person working for you is a Chartered Patent Attorney. You can check this on the website of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.
As with most things, you get what you pay for, but with patenting, you have the added advantage of checking the credentials of the person you engage. Attorney costs are variable, but compared with development and prototyping costs, they can be very reasonable. Albright IP offer good fixed fee prices to individuals and SMEs and welcome your enquiry.
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