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(Message started by: EveryMothersSon on Jun 19th, 2007, 7:09am)

Title: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by EveryMothersSon on Jun 19th, 2007, 7:09am
do you need a lawyer?  if not, ultimately what is the cheapest one can pay once having gone thru the whole process (assuming it gets that far)?

i dont have much money

thanks

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Wiscagent on Jun 19th, 2007, 9:58am
If you write and file your own US patent application, and a patent is granted, it will cost you a minimum of about $1000 in Patent Office fees.

Given that you are strapped for cash, I suggest that you reconsider whether a patent application is the best investment of your time and money.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by TataBoxInhibitor on Jun 19th, 2007, 11:28am
Richard is correct.   The filing fee is anywhere from $425 or $500, including $700 for an issue fee.  Throughout the life of the patent, you have maintenance fees, around $3400, due at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years. In total, around $4900 for the grant and life of the patent, assuming you file everything correctly and on time.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by patentsusa on Jul 1st, 2007, 7:40pm
Patent law is extremely complex.  It would be very hard to write a solid valid patent on your own.  The allowance rate at the patent office is at record lows, even for applications drafted by highly experienced patent attorneys.  After you file an application, odds are that it will be rejected, and you will have to know how to overcome the objections.  To get an idea of the complexity of patent law, take a look at the MPEP, the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, which you can find at USPTO.gov

There are some patent cases that mean that slight errors in drafting can have harsh results for the patent holder.  Look up Gentry Gallery v Berkline for example.

Your best bet is to get quotes from multiple registered U.S. patent attorneys and go with the lowest quotes.  

You can consider a provisional patent application as a last resort but you have the same issues--unless the provisional application meets "best mode" and "enablement" requirements, it will be invalid.

Nolo press has some book on how to draft a patent application yourself.  It may give you some ideas to help do some of the work yourself but I'd still highly recommend hiring an attorney or patent agent.

Keep in mind that the average cost of a patent infringement trial is about 1.5 million dollars.  Which those kinds of fees, you can bet that opposing counsel will do everything they can to tear your patent apart.  Don't skimp on the application drafting.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by kellie on Jul 28th, 2007, 12:34pm
You can get a provisional patent for $100. I did it.  Call the USPTO office and ask for the Inventors Assistance office.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Bill Richards on Jul 28th, 2007, 5:56pm

Quote:
You can get a provisional patent for $100. I did it.  Call the USPTO office and ask for the Inventors Assistance office.

Oh, goodness, people!
Let's again make something crystal clear.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PROVISIONAL PATENT!  REPEAT AFTER ME, "NO SUCH THING AS A PROVISIONAL PATENT!"  There is, in the US, a provisional patent application (PPA) that, at best, gives one a one-year window to file a non-provisional (real) application.  The $100 is only the filing fee for the PPA.  Without more, the PPA is worthless.
Yeesh!

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by JimIvey on Jul 30th, 2007, 8:42am
Just to echo Bill's thoughts, what kellie did was to spend $100 and probably a few hours on something that has no hope whatsoever of producing enforceable rights -- rights to actually exclude someone from making, using, selling, or importing the invention.

Let's review the significance of an "application" (the only thing "provisional" from the PTO).  When you apply for a home loan, do you celebrate?  Most people wait unti the loan is granted.  I applied to Harvard and Yale law schools.  Yeah!  I didn't go to either, but I applied.  Something to brag about or put on a resume?  I've thought about applying for a research grant to determined (once and for all) if loads of money can really make you happy -- $100 million ought to provide a good test.  If I ever do apply, should I run out and buy a huge yacht and a small jet?

Once you've got your mind wrapped around the difference between and application and the resulting grant (of whatever), let's consider whether the content of the application influences the likelihood of success of the application, i.e., that the request inherent in the application will be granted.

If I re-apply to Harvard law school for their JD program, would it matter if I put in my application that I already have a JD?  Would it matter in a home loan application to note that I don't have a job or don't actually own the home involved?  I think we can accept that the content of the application matters.

So, with a provisional (meaning not-complete) application in which the content is whatever flowed extemporaneous from your  fingers in a 10-minute effort, what is the likelihood of any meaningful protection coming from that?  Somewhere between winning the lottery  and getting struck by lightning in the midst of a great white shark attack in Idaho.

Regards.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by SoCalAttny on Aug 4th, 2007, 1:02am
Cheapest path = buy a patent book at the local bookstore, go to the Patent Trademark Office website and look at issued patents, file and pay the fees

be prepared to spend lots of time and when the first office action arrives call the examiner and plead pro se

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Bill Richards on Aug 4th, 2007, 7:41am
Maybe the answer begins with a question.  Why do you want a patent?  Is it to underpin the core of a major business or otherwise protect your livelihood?  If so, a do-it-yourself approach may be a disaster for your fniancial security and the future of your business.  Would you defend yourself at a DUI trial?  What about a felony that could mean long jail time?  My guess is you'd get the best attorney money could buy.
Do you want a patent to add legitimacy to the hobby you're turning into a business but don't care if you make money or not?  Or, do you just want something to frame and hang in your family room next to the trophy for the local softball tournament?  If so, maybe a do-it-yourself philosophy might work.
Oops, one more problem, even with the latter example.  What happens if, as is usually the case, the PTO firmly and repeatedly rejects all your claims?  Then what?  Walk away with nothing?  Proceed pro se to the BAPI?  On to Federal court?
I've never thought of it in exactly these terms, but maybe knowing the reason for wanting a patent is a helpful initial inquiry.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Patent Prosecutor on Aug 9th, 2007, 11:31pm
People here are overly pessimistic.  First off, a provisional application does not afford exclusionary rights, so your comment about the provisional having “no hope whatsoever of producing enforceable rights” is of course true.  It is the non-provisional claiming the benefit of the provisional that affords exclusionary legal protection, and then only if granted by the PTO.

Second, even if the provisional doesn’t satisfy the statutory requirements, you are only losing the priority claim.  You can still file a non-provisional application and swear behind intervening prior art.

So yes, IMO if you can’t afford to pay an attorney to file a non-provision application, you should file a provisional application describing your invention with as much detail as possible.  Even if you cannot rely on it for priority purposes, at a minimum, you will have a document that a patent attorney can use to help draft the non-provisional when you can afford it.

And don’t spend ten minutes on it.  Spend some time and write a thorough disclosure.  I have seen many provisional applications written by pro se inventors that were excellent.  You as the inventor know your invention best!

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by MrSnuggles on Aug 11th, 2007, 1:43am

on 08/09/07 at 23:31:12, Patent Prosecutor wrote:
Second, even if the provisional doesn’t satisfy the statutory requirements, you are only losing the priority claim.  You can still file a non-provisional application and swear behind intervening prior art.


Let's be clear about this, you can swear behind 102(a) art, but you cannot swear behind 102(b) art.

Don't take losing a claim of priority too lightly.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Bill Richards on Aug 11th, 2007, 1:29pm

on 08/09/07 at 23:31:12, Patent Prosecutor wrote:
Second, even if the provisional doesn’t satisfy the statutory requirements, you are only losing the priority claim.  You can still file a non-provisional application and swear behind intervening prior art.

Another problem is that to have an invention, one must have conception and reduction to practice.  Conception requires the inventor be in possession of his invention.  If the provisional is insufficient to even show that, perhaps the inventor is not in possession of the invention and may not be able to swear behind an intervening reference.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by IP4me on Aug 12th, 2007, 3:04pm
I don’t think anyone is saying that there aren’t any potential problems with having inventors file their own provisional applications.

The question is what should you advise an individual inventor who, like a significant percentage of inventors, doesn’t have the money to hire a registered practitioner and likely only has only a couple hundred dollars to protect his invention.

The answer, in my opinion, is file a provisional application with as much detail as possible and start saving the money required to hire a registered practitioner.

So the options are:

1) file a provisional application and start saving until you can afford a registered practitioner.

OR

2) don’t file a provisional because the odds of obtaining meaningful protection are “Somewhere between winning the lottery  and getting struck by lightning” and simply save up for a registered practitioner.

The answer is clearly #1 (as Patent Prosecutor stated).

Remember, hiring a registered practitioner takes money, and therefore time to save the money.  For an average person it could take 6 months to save $4K, plus anywhere from 2-5 weeks for the registered practitioner to prepare and file.  So 102(b) can still get you.  

At least with #1 you have a priority claim to lose.  #2 doesn’t even get you that!  

Obviously, hiring an experienced practitioner is the best, but many inventors simply can’t afford this option.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Bill Richards on Aug 12th, 2007, 7:39pm
I agree with John.  I would just like to emphasize the importance of the provisional application.  I believe too many inventors think they can throw together some drawings and some text and they're good to go.  It's a bit more complicated than that and one needs to be prepared to study the issues before putting the application together.  At a minimum, 35 USC 112 needs to be considered carefully.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by JimIvey on Aug 14th, 2007, 8:50am

on 08/12/07 at 15:04:45, IP4me wrote:
ISo the options are:

1) file a provisional application and start saving until you can afford a registered practitioner.

OR

2) don’t file a provisional because the odds of obtaining meaningful protection are “Somewhere between winning the lottery  and getting struck by lightning” and simply save up for a registered practitioner.

The answer is clearly #1 (as Patent Prosecutor stated).

I see.  If I must get from Oakland to Alexandria and can't afford a plane ticket, I should stand on my deck and flap my arms really hard.  I'd respectfully submit that the answer certainly isn't "clear" and probably isn't even #1.

Provisional applications, to have any effect at all, must meet the same requirements of Section 112p1 as a real application.  Filing anything less is a waste of $100.  If a provisional application cuts corners that a real application wouldn't, it's generally useless and a waste of money.

Point 2:  While a patent is often essential, it's rarely (if ever) sufficient to make money from an idea (that's the goal, right?).  Oh, how I wish a patent was a little money machine!!  But it simply isn't.  It's usually step one in a long, arduous journey.  If you don't have (and can't get) the resources for a legitimate effort at solid protection, affording a good patent application is likely to be the least of your worries.

If your goal is to get a nifty piece of paper from the Patent Office, go ahead and file your own provisional.  If your goal is to make money from your idea, then the specifics of what comes out of the Patent Office and its entire history through the Office are very important.

Regards.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by John Lennon on Aug 14th, 2007, 4:45pm
Regarding:
"If your goal is to get a nifty piece of paper from the Patent Office, go ahead and file your own provisional.  If your goal is to make money from your idea, then the specifics of what comes out of the Patent Office and its entire history through the Office are very important."

While I generally agree with that small portion of the larger posting, I think the posting is (all at once) a bit idealistic, cynical, and naive. Within every cynic is an idealist naive enough to want to make the world perfect.

The real world is littered with patents having questionable priority claims and other issues impacting their perfection. Imperfect patents effectively protect intellectual property every day. Just the other day, I found a patent having claims that are clearly anticipated by prior art discovered in the same search. Nonetheless, my client was not immediately relieved of concerns with regard to infringing the claims of the patent. Indeed, my client is at least considering staying out of the business space of the patent. It seems the imperfect patent has already provided value to the patentee. My client, a competitor of the patentee, is delayed, is spending money and time, is leaning away from filing a patent application, and may abandon the technology space around the imperfect patent. Imagine that.

The same poster, with regard to the difference between an application and a patent writes "When you apply for a home loan, do you celebrate?  Most people wait until the loan is granted."

However, once you file a non-provisional patent application, you can generally celebrate that your application will in time be published and may prevent your competitors from patenting related inventions ... and get this ... that protection occurs whether you ever get a patent!

Many patent strategies involve cost cutting steps and questionable judgement calls. Are you aware that designing and building automobiles involves cost cutting steps and questionable judgement calls? That's right, real people drive around in imperfect automobiles ... and the world is littered with imperfect patents that provide benefits to their holders ... imagine that. The world is a dirty place. Did you know that there is bacteria under your nails?

So go ahead and file that provisional patent application if you've assessed your resources and understand your endeavor. Be informed, but don't be obsessively idealistic, cynical, or naive about patents, automobiles, and the crud under your nails ... unless you are Howard Hughes of course.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Jonathan on Aug 14th, 2007, 5:28pm

on 08/14/07 at 16:45:28, John Lennon wrote:
However, once you file a non-provisional patent application, you can generally celebrate that your application will in time be published and may prevent your competitors from patenting related inventions ... and get this ... that protection occurs whether you ever get a patent!


So you celebrate the fact that your competitors are potentially free to use the invention your company / inventors produced?

Why then bother paying for patent application prep and associated filing fee to the patent office? Just publish the invention via some other means.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by JimIvey on Aug 14th, 2007, 10:16pm
Ah, I see.  The world is a dirty place so why try to do good work at all?  There are questionable priority claims and then there are laughable priority claims.

I suppose my practice is a bit different from Mr. Lennon's (if that is his real name).  Most of my clients do, or intend to, enforce their patents -- as in through law suit(s).  I think it would be immodest to go into details, but I've had a client referred to me by the litigator for the defendant of one of my portfolios -- the litigator who deposed me.  I can't think of higher praise for a patent attorney.  And the other attorneys representing my client were among the largest, most well-known international law firms -- with rates twice that of mine.

I went through the entire enforcement process with a friend of mine who founded IPotential -- he's former Director of Licensing at Intel and former General Counsel at Brocade and pretty clearly among the patent licensing elite.  The defendant's strategy is pretty much what you think it might be -- can we avoid infringment?  Can we break the patent?  The fact that this or that company was scared to continue a business practice in face of a threatened patent is valid anecdotal evidence, but hardly a trend.  If the company was making 8 figures annually from that business, it would have been a no brainer to file a Dec Action and squash the patentholder -- if they could.

So, I respectfully submit that little guys do need work of as high a  quality as the defense they might face.

Ever been through a portfolio acquisition?  MSFT has bought 3 of my portfolios.  Intellectual Ventures has bought 2.  You think these guys don't care about quality?  I assure you that they do and that it affects the price.  With so many patent hedge funds developing, that's becoming the most likely place for small inventors to make some money for their ideas.  And, I used to work with some of the guys that manage these funds and know that they do, in fact, care very much about quality.

So, go ahead, fashion the best boat you can out of cardboard and white glue and set sail!

Regards.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by John Lennon on Aug 15th, 2007, 7:56am
"Why then bother paying for patent application prep and associated filing fee to the patent office? Just publish the invention via some other means."

That one is easy:
Because the patent and patent application database of the U.S. Patent Office is the database most available to U.S. patent examiners. If you want an examiner to find your publication, get your publication directly into that database.
Furthermore, the cost of writing and filing a patent application may actually be lower than the total resource cost of having your work published in a scholarly journal.

A point I've tried to make is that not every inventor and circumstance can attain air tight protections. An all-or-none philosophy draws an incomplete picture. I see that outlandish metaphors are in use in this thread ... so here is one:

If I can't have a twenty-foot high steel wall with machine gun towers around my home, I might as well leave my front door open and leave a trail of cash leading through the house to my jewelry box.

An all-or-none approach to physical security doesn't serve all home owners and circumstances, and an all-or-none approach to understanding intellectual property security doesn't serve all inventors and circumstances.

Well I'm off to write an imperfect patent application. I've got real doubts about the novelty on this one ... but the client, a business with an experienced in-house patent attorney who is calling the shots, wants a patent application written. Imagine that. Oh well, somebody's gotta do the dirty work.


Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by JimIvey on Aug 15th, 2007, 12:46pm
I hope I'm not giving the impression that I favor an all-or-nothing approach.  Far from the truth.  I'm trying to advocate best effort to use the law to its fullest extent to protect a client's intellectual property.  Can it always be perfect?  Absolutely not.  But a lame attempt at a provisional application merely for expediency is absolutely not what I would consider a reasonable effort, let alone a best effort.

Regards.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by kellie on Aug 29th, 2007, 4:12pm
Of course you people are going to tell inventors to pay you alot of money. You are the patent agents and attorneys wanting the $5000 up front and recieve the 10% of all royalties for the length of the licenseing agreement. If it wasn't for inventors you people would not have a job.  I did get a provisional patent and I am now in the process of obtaining a licensing agreement, and guess what!? I did it on my own. You can disagree with me all you want, but don't mislead anyone on what they can do when the information is out there for them.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by pele1212 on Aug 29th, 2007, 7:34pm
"You can disagree with me all you want, but don't mislead anyone on what they can do when the information is out there for them."

You are LICENSING a PROVISIONAL PATENT?  Please explain.


Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by TataBoxInhibitor on Aug 29th, 2007, 7:41pm
This thread is an interesting read.  

Kellie, I think that is fantastic that you are negotiating a licensing agreement by yourself.  I also think that is amazing that you received a "provisional patent."  I am not sure what that is, but that sounds great.  I thought there were just provisional, non-provisional applications, and granted patents.  How did you get the company to negotiate based on the "provisional patent?"

Can I ask what resources you used to learn about drafting patent applications and licensing?  Practitioners spend years trying to figure this stuff out, learning from those with more experience and reading case law, and you did it by yourself, probably in record time too.


Regards,


Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by JimIvey on Aug 29th, 2007, 10:11pm

on 08/29/07 at 16:12:36, kellie wrote:
I did get a provisional patent and I am now in the process of obtaining a licensing agreement, and guess what!? I did it on my own.

Sorry, can't leave this one alone.  You have a provisional patent.  Your patent is something (enforceable?) provided ... what?  What's the provision that you must satisfy before your "patent" can loose that pesky qualifier, "provisional"?

Oh, I think I see.  You've filed something (perhaps a napkin or a photocopy of a napkin and a USPTO PDF form with various boxes checked and a check for $100).  You have a receipt that proves you filed it.

You've also asked someone for money.

And you did that all by yourself.  

Well, I guess that's all there is.  Congrats!  Except, what happens if your "licensee" decides to use your idea and not pay you?  Now what?  I will post a picture of myself naked (that's right, the full Monte!) in these forums if you can find one single registered practitioner, patent examiner, IP litigator, IP professor, or judicial clerk to state unequivocally and in writing that a provisional patent application without more gives you the power to stop anyone from using your idea under US patent law.

Frankly, I don't give a rat's ... ummm.... posterior portions if anyone decides to do their own patent work instead of hiring me or one of my colleagues.  But I will not lie and say it's easy and anyone can do it properly.  It's just not.

This topic always reminds me of the guy that did his own root canal with a hand drill, a mirror, and epoxy.  I really wish I could find a link to the news story about that.  Yes, you can do it on your own -- and Kellie hasn't yet despite her proclamation to the contrary.  Whether you ought to do it on your own is a different question entirely.

Regards.

Title: Whoa Kellie!
Post by John Lennon on Aug 30th, 2007, 8:11am
Hi Kellie,

I and perhaps others can understand your skepticism over typical fees for hiring a patent agent or attorney. The patent world is tough to embrace for an independent inventor. Most of my clients (I work for a big firm) are medium to large companies. $5000, whether up front or later paid, is not a lot of money to a large company. It takes money to make money.

Have you discussed your situation with a patent attorney? You may could get a free initial session with a local patent attorney. When I worked for a small firm, we gave an initial session, which lasted for an hour to 90 minutes, for free. We weren't trying to trick anybody. After the first session, we and the potential clients would be better informed as to whether a good match was found. Some firms actually turn clients away for various reasons. I assure you, most patent attorneys and agents don't want to mislead you. But of course, they want to make as much money as they reasonably can ... don't we all?

Here's why I'm posting:
Your statement about a provisional patent sounds strange to patent attorneys and agents. There actually is no such thing as a provisional patent in the U.S., if we stick strictly to legal terms and their meanings. So, no one here understands what you've said. You may could get a free initial session with a local patent attorney. At least check it out. If you do, they hopefully will make clear how they will charge you for more time. If you don't like what they have to say ... just walk away. If you're actually in the process of negotiating a licensing agreement ... you probably should talk to an attorney, a patent agent (like myself) can generally only help you get a patent. Licensing agreements are more in the realm of attorney work than patent agent work. Some firms have both patent attorneys and patent agents.

In any event, there is no such thing as a provisional patent in the U.S. (if we're using terms in their strictly legally accepted way). You might be about to give away your invention to a company ... for free. What if you're negotiating with a company that is trying to mislead you? For example, if you offer to sell them your invention, and then you delay filing a non-provisional patent application for a year, you could be forever blocked from getting a U.S. patent . Then maybe they will walk away from you and go market your invention without giving you a penny. For example, if you enter into a licensing agreement that refers to a patented invention, then the agreement may be worth nothing without a real patent ... the licensing agreement may be smoke and mirrors.

Look, here's how it is:
Anybody that told you that you have a "provisional patent," using exactly those terms, is either misinformed themselves or is trying to trick you!

One thing I can say for sure:
You DO NOT have a provisional patent in the United States.

Good luck!
Be careful!

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by MattB on Aug 30th, 2007, 2:42pm
How can I get a pic of Jim in the Full Monty?

Registered patent agent #1

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by JimIvey on Aug 30th, 2007, 5:28pm

on 08/30/07 at 14:42:46, MattB wrote:
How can I get a pic of Jim in the Full Monty?

The terms were pretty clear, but I suspect that either Mr. Forum Moderator or Mr. Sonnabend will take the post down almost immediately -- especially if they were to get advance notice of the impending inappropriate post.  In fact, being a moderator, I may be obligated (ethically, anyway) to remove the post myself.

I think that, as practitioners, the single most important thing we can do for the inventing community is to dispell as many PPA myths as we can.  For whatever reason, it seems just about everybody thinks you can get the power to stop other from making, using, selling, importing their invention with a few hours' work, $100, and a drawing on a napkin.  Don't even get me started on Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny!

Regards.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Jonathan on Aug 30th, 2007, 7:03pm

Please don't encourage Jim to commit a youthful indiscretion.

Please.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by still_studying on Aug 31st, 2007, 4:03pm

on 08/29/07 at 22:11:12, JimIvey wrote:
I will post a picture of myself naked (that's right, the full Monte!) in these forums if you can find one single registered practitioner, patent examiner, IP litigator, IP professor, or judicial clerk to state unequivocally and in writing that a provisional patent application without more gives you the power to stop anyone from using your idea under US patent law.

:-/  Drat.  Can't do it yet.  Another motivation to pass the exam.







( ;D )

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by JimIvey on Aug 31st, 2007, 7:18pm
Are people really interested in seeing that?  My wife's not even interesting in seeing that!

It was meant to convey certainty on my part and suggest uninamity on the subject among those who actually know the subject.  It wasn't meant to be a tease for the other posters here!

I was going to make a "you first" offer, but I don't think I'm interested in seeing pics of the other posters naked -- no offense.

Regards.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Bill Richards on Sep 1st, 2007, 8:20am
OK, why are we even having this "swearing" contest?  I'm a businessman and can price my services just about anyway I want.  If one wants, and values my services, at the prices I charge, they're welcome to hire me.  If they don't, they are welcome to go elsewhere or do it themselves.  No skin off my nose.  I can, and do, in so many words, tell some potential clients they can't afford my services.  I'm pretty honest up front what the costs are before they've spent a dime.  Many just decide on another course.  No problem.  I'm tired of people demeaning what we do.  Apparently, there are some who believe we add no value.  So be it.
Vive le pro se!

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Neighbor on Sep 5th, 2007, 11:50pm
If you have an idea for a patent, the best way to go about filing for a patent application is through a patent attorney.  While this may be the easiest way, it is an expensive way.  The patent office allows an inventor to represent him/herself and file/prosecute the patent application.  There are resources available for one to find more about the patenting process, the first of which is, conducting a rudimentary (and i mean rudimentary) search yourself using public search tools.  Find out more at e-formationcentral.  add the three Ws and dot com after the word to get there.  

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Wiscagent on Sep 6th, 2007, 9:03am
"... the best way to go about filing for a patent application is through a patent attorney."

Howdy Neighbor!

Why a patent attorney rather than another registered patent practitioner, i.e. a patent agent?

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Bill Richards on Sep 7th, 2007, 5:41pm

on 09/05/07 at 23:50:09, Neighbor wrote:
Find out more at e-formationcentral.

Oh, my, does "Neighbor" get around!  Let's see, "Friendly Neighbor", "PE", and now this.  Would you misrepresent yourself like this before a tribunal?  Not if you're an attorney, you'd wind up in contempt.  How about clearing things up rather than just trying to be a shill?

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by JimIvey on Sep 7th, 2007, 6:25pm
I share Bill's suspicion re Friendly Neighbor PE.  However, I'd just point out that it seems that Neighbor, Friendly Neighbor and PE are the same poster -- leaving it up to the reader to determine for her/himself, and I'd repeat an often-mentioned recommendation to do one's homework prior to giving any invention submission/protection/etc. firm money.  I forget which is the most often recommended site for checking up on various companies.  I found this one:
http://inventors.about.com/od/avoidingscams/Invention_Company_Fraud.htm
[TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/2d27xm]

Remember, the audience here is the IP community at large and googlers way after the fact.  

Regards.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by John Anderson on Oct 3rd, 2007, 7:03am
Just from reading this thread it sounds like there are a lot of desperate and hungry patent agents and attorneys out there. Maybe you all should quit discouraging people. Math is simple, if you don't have the money and can't save it due to your current circumstances, than hiring an attorney is not an option. It's off the table.
So the advice of these hungry professionals is don't try it on your own, just curl up in a ball and die. In which case you have 0% chance of realizing your dreams.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Wiscagent on Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:01am
Dear John,

In this forum it is rare to see a patent agent or patent attorney soliciting business.  And by the way, I don’t consider myself to be either desperate or hungry (I had a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast).

I do agree that “... if you don't have the money and can't save it due to your current circumstances, than hiring an attorney is not an option. It's off the table.”

But for most small or start-up businesses applying for a patent is not a particularly important part of a business plan.  I frequently advise that if person has a great business idea (including an invention), that person needs to prioritize activities and expenditures related to the business.  In most situations getting a patent comes lower on the priority list than manufacturing, distribution, advertizing, and a dozen other tasks.

For the rare small business that must have a patent to succeed, the inventor / business owner must either get some start-up money and hire a professional; or apply for a patent on their own and recognize that there will be a cost in time, effort and money.  And after several years the patent may or may not be granted.  And a do-it-yourself patent, even if granted is unlikely to have much business value.  

I’m not suggesting that the inventor “just curl up in a ball and die.”  But the inventor should recognize that having a wonderful new invention is not sufficient to make big bucks.  It still takes a substantial investment of time, effort and money.

Go on, follow your dreams, I wish you well.  But don’t expect the typical patent professional to take you on as a charity case ... after all ... you’re also just in it for the money.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by john anderson on Oct 4th, 2007, 4:48pm
Wiscagent,

Your post was great. After looking back at the thread your posts were very helpful and my comment wasn't directed at you. I just want to be clear, millions are made each day on products with Patent Pending Status which is achieved through a "provisional patent application", apparently a bad word.
Also an indisputable fact is that 97% of patents never make a dime. So if someone suggests that you  hire a patent attorney, there is only a 3% chance that is good advice. If however, you are already making money on the invention than it's obvious that you should hire a professional to CYA.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by kaidi on Oct 31st, 2007, 12:13pm
that is the best answer on my view.
kd
registered patent agent and lawyer in China.

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by kylestephen on Nov 21st, 2007, 5:46pm
Clearly stated, the willingness, or lack of to invest, at whatever level, in your product (in this case, its protection & enforceability) translates into your belief in the product, which then translates to a company interested in licensing it. Kellie has shown us what she feels her creation is worth, so let's move on to something more "worthwhile"...

Title: Re: what is the cheapest avenue for a patent?
Post by Jp on Dec 16th, 2007, 2:25pm

on 07/28/07 at 17:56:42, Bill Richards wrote:
Oh, goodness, people!
Let's again make something crystal clear.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PROVISIONAL PATENT!  REPEAT AFTER ME, "NO SUCH THING AS A PROVISIONAL PATENT!"  There is, in the US, a provisional patent application (PPA) that, at best, gives one a one-year window to file a non-provisional (real) application.  The $100 is only the filing fee for the PPA.  Without more, the PPA is worthless.
Yeesh!


Hello Bill,

Why don't you just say that a PPA, is very much like or is  an invention disclosure, that does pretty much the same darn thing that the DDP, (Document Disclosure Program) use to do ?

That is file a discloure of what your invention is and has or keep it available in the case that you file a NPPA, in the following twelve months.

With a few exceptional differences, the cost from what use to be $10 to what is now $100, given the change in the value of a dollar, about the same price, and of course now you have a pat.pend certification, to use but without an identifying reference.

This was, to the best of my understanding, devised to give the people participating in, "free enterprise" a slight edge on the proliferation of competition. As, to how successful this has been I am unaware, but would like to read a report on that.

A PPA, puts your invention in the caring hands of the Federal government, where there would be little doubt as to the filing date and the contents, like the DDP.

I don't doubt there would be some unscrupulous acts, committed in defiance of this protectorate domain, but there seems to be at least one good thing that we hope someone can say about the, PPA .

Take for example the homeless person, who might have designed the, "paper-clip", of course, . . I am for the state to establish an institution, providing him with a shower even if he is unemployed, so that he can go to the library and read about the free-enterprise system and the future it may provide to him. In this way he doesn't have to wind up sueing, the library for kicking him out because he is offensive, and or posed a health risk to others, and at the same time preserve one of the rights that a democracy can not exist without.

So you see, even though the shower has been invented you can still find modified new uses, this might even bring one, "fame and fotune", offer employment advantages to the individual and the state, and keep the courts capably working in favor of justice, not to mention saving the library from law suits and keeping all those readers, researchers and students, happy and productive, . . so, it goes to show you, you really can never tell what's around the next corner.






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