One feels wonderful when one comes up with a solution for a problem that no one has solved yet. That “one” becomes a proud inventor and dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur. It is very important to protect this novel solution legally before launching it. The legal costs, especially service charges of Patent Attorneys for Provisional/non-Provisional Patent Application can be saved to a great extent if one really pays attention to following “self-check” list before reaching out to respective Patent Attorneys who most likely to charge you hourly basis.
Self-Check on the Novelty of Your Invention:
You know that novelty is one of the criteria which is being examined by Examiners at the Patent Office to grant you patent rights on your invention. Obviously, the invention has to be original and unique before you claim it completely.
So, most of the inventors just go straightaway to the Patent Attorney with their idea. In the first meeting, you decide to conduct the Novelty search through the Patent Attorney. In case your invention is already known, then you end up in paying the service charges. If you straightaway file your Patent application without conducting the novelty search and it is already known art, then again Examiner rejects your application. Again, you end up in paying hefty amount, both official and service charges.
So crucial point is that determination of novelty of your invention is of utmost importance. Thus, it is advisable to firstly conduct a basic search by yourself through various free online platforms. You can use Google Patents, and all the official search engines of patent offices of other countries. By this basic search, you can have an idea if you should proceed further i.e., if your invention is already known, you obviously won’t proceed further to file the patent application.
For the inventions already being known after conducting the “basic” search, the inventors please do not get demoralized. You still have the way to go. While conducting the search, you would become aware of close prior arts which can again hint you for the disadvantages of the existing solution and then you have a long way ahead to develop the solution to overcome those disadvantages.
There is one more learning for the inventions who get to know that their invention is novel after conducting “basic” search. Here also, they would get close prior arts which can again be studied well to know problems unsolved by the prior arts and disadvantages thereof which you can check if your invention provides that solution as well. This is another way to enhance scope of your invention.
Self-check on Key features of your invention
After conducting the “basic search,” you now know pretty well about the salient features of your invention that you want to claim. So, document these key features well with which you want to go ahead. Also, determine the scope of these key features i.e., if your product is limited with particular features and benefits only. For example, if someone develops a brush to clean a windowpane, then can the same brush be used to clean keyboard as well? It’s important to document this scope which you brainstormed as well.
After Novelty determination, did you still miss out something?
Yes, indeed! Apart from Novelty, it is very important to submit all the details of each key features of your invention i.e. how your invention works? Basic components of your invention? What problems your invention overcomes? Any experimental results if conducted? Any due diligence? Any pictures of your prototype or drawings of your novel idea?
In a nutshell, you have to provide all the information in such a way that any technical person involved in the field of your invention can understand your invention and make it by going through your patent application.
Specific technical requirements ensure grant of your patent rights
There are some specific requirements that need to be disclosed in your patent application. It is always advisable to show experimental results in the patent application. Such results can be submitted at the time of filing non-Provisional application. Else file the Provisional application if you do not have the details and you are being provided 12 months deadline to submit the complete details. The experimental results make your patent application stronger especially for the technical fields of pharmaceuticals, life sciences, formulations, biomedical applications, etc.
- For formulations/compositions: do not forget to provide quantity range of each ingredient of the composition.
- For software inventions: mere algorithm cannot go, however implementation thereof through a hardware medium always convince the Examiner readily.
Self-check on your confidence for your invention
After conducting the basic search, now at least you are confident that your invention is novel, which will save your costs for initial hours of mentoring by the Patent Attorney in which they guide you for searching. Now, after determining key features you know what you want to claim. Now, you have all the details for each key feature.
So, now it is good time to check costs of the Patent Attorney at different steps throughout the process of your patent application, for example service charges for conducting “advanced” novelty search, drafting and filing your patent application, preparing and filing office action responses, attending hearing, paying maintenance fee, etc.
Now it’s time to go to a Patent Attorney
After doing homework on your invention and finding the right Patent Attorney, it’s time to share all the details with the finalized Patent Attorney. Now, he would conduct the “advanced” search in his licensed database to determine novelty and non-obviousness of your invention, followed by drafting and filing.
The aforementioned self-check measures would save your ample of hourly rate expenses of interviews/discussions with the Patent Attorney and save your expenses of “basic search”. Also, these measures would bring you confidence that at least there won’t be “No” for grant from the Examiner side.
So, keep innovating and protecting thereto with full confidence!!