The USPTO (United States Patent And Trademark Office) doesn’t require that everyone looking to get a US pending patent has a lawyer present. However, its always a good idea to hire one. Most entrepreneurs are always operating on a limited budget. They also keep in mind the critical status of the intellectual property of their start-up. However, there might be a long term impact if you choose to cut corners too early.
A patent attorney can write and submit the pending patent application. Note that, some regulations are enforced by the USPTO for these applications. Therefore, an attorney who has gone through the whole process before can handle the complexities accordingly. On the other hand, inexperienced applicants will most likely ignore some rules, case laws and statutes while applying for the patent thus leading to an automatic rejection.
Note that, getting a pending patent is not very user-friendly and thus, people who prefer doing everything on their own might not have any good luck here. Most people are worried about the cost of applying for a patent thus they end up not hiring a patent attorney for the process. However, there are a few ways to keep the costs attorney and still use the services of a patent attorney.
For instance, some attorneys might offer patent applicants startup packages that come with discounts. That way, the attorney fees don’t increase the application costs dramatically. However, a first-time patent applicant should always take the time to find the right attorney for the job. Keep in mind that the application process is always long-term. Therefore, taking your time to find the right attorney will be advantageous in the long run.
Another way to reduce the overall expenses includes creating a white paper where you can describe everything about the invention. You should also include drawings, pictures, charts or any other relevant information about your invention. The white paper merely serves as a guide for the attorney when he/she is preparing the patent application.
That way, you don’t have to take up too many hours with the attorney, especially if you’re on a budget. Here, the attorney will rely on the white paper for everything thus cutting down his/her hours considerably. Of course, the attorney might consult on a few things here and there but its a good idea to make sure that the white paper is very conclusive regarding the invention.
Note that, most attorneys work on an hourly basis. Therefore, during this time, you should limit any new ideas thrown to the attorney when applying for a patent. Yes, any relevant information regarding the invention should be provided but you should avoid being disorganized. That’s because the attorney will end up rewriting the white paper a few times and getting stuck in the application process thus costing too much on your part.
In conclusion, whether or not to hire a patent attorney when applying to get a US pending patent is solely based on the inventor. If you can find one and limit the budget, you are bound to succeed with the application process.