A patent is not an easy thing to get – in fact, many people are surprised at how complicated the procedure can actually be. There are many steps to go through before the actual patent is granted. Nevertheless, a patent is very much like the formalising of an agreement or the setting up of a corporation; it’s something that often proves necessary in order for the business model to work.
Please note that we use the word business model – considering the various procedures that you have to go through to actually get the patent granted, it really does need to be part of a business model. Otherwise it may not be the wisest thing to do. Patents; they’re not easy, but they’re often necessary, and they’re certainly a way of protecting your own business. So can you do this by yourself? Here’s how to determine if you really need help from a patent attorney when applying for a patent.
Do You Really Need It?
This is not a silly question; it’s a very practical one, for two main reasons. First of all, it will cost some time and money to get the patent registered, so it should be considered an investment first of all (and hence, should be part of a business plan). Secondly, the procedure of getting the patent granted includes its publication, which means you’re basically laying out your invention for everyone to see and to be examined – you may want to work secretly and conquer the market first.
Is It Complicated?
If your invention is simple, you may not need a solicitor to help you. However, if your designs have complicated blueprints, you may want to seek the advice of a professional to see you through the myriad of filing and expertise recommendations.
Is It Really Protectable?
A lot of people go through the patent protection process only to find out that their invention is not protectable or patent-able just because a similar device already exists. In this case, you may need expert advice.
Going Through the Process
It’s often a long and winding process – can you do this yourself, or do you need someone to handle it for you?
Here’s the thing: if you feel that you have everything under control (that you have an original idea or product, you have the knowledge and the resources to go through the whole process, and you are willing to stick with the necessary paperwork for as long it takes), you can do it yourself. If not, however – if there is any doubt whatsoever – then you should let the experts take care of it. It’s not as easy as it seems, and legal advice will certainly come in very handy in the long run. You can get more information regarding a patent lawyer’s cost and other patent application expenses through specific online tools as well.
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