The Business of Patent Law

Getting Patents Cheaply

It is not uncommon to receive a phone call from an inventor who wishes to write their own patent in order to save money but wishes me to help them in some way. Usually, the inventor asks me to read or edit their patent application and help them file it.

This type of situation is one in which neither the inventor nor attorney can possibly get what is best for either of them. It is a road to disaster.

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Doing the Patent Interview

I have been developing my inventor interview over several years, and I have a technique that seems to work for me.

The key is to know what the inventor wants.

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Claiming Strategy for a Patent in Real Business Applications

One of my clients was complaining about how difficult and expensive their last patent was when it was handled by a big firm. Sadly, this is not an uncommon story, where the inventor had to suffer through several revisions of the initial application because it was technically incorrect and was missing many essential elements of the invention.

The problem was exacerbated when the response to an Office action was handed off to someone unfamiliar with the case, and the inventor essentially did all the background work to present their case to the Examiner. Oh, and by the way, over $180,000 was spent prosecuting the patent. (The Big Firm billed by the hour, too.)

Not only is this story one of utter incompetence, clearly excessive billing, but it is one of poor claiming strategy.

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Patent Incentive Programs

Before becoming a patent agent, I was a design engineer in several different companies, each having some sort of patent incentive program to compensate inventors.

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