My Patent Experience

As an inventor I decided to write my own patent applications rather than use a patent practitioner for the following reasons:

  • I am extremely frugal
  • I found out quickly that the process of writing my own applications played a significant role in refining my invention
  • As an added bonus, once I developed the skills in patent application writing, I could use this skill for protecting additional inventions in a cost effective manner

After much trial and error, I settled on the following approach for writing my own patent applications. (See reference tab for links to the resources.)

Approach Used:

  • Pressman’s Patent it Yourself (2008 edition) for patent filing related guidance
  • Slusky’s Invention Analysis and Claiming for Writing claims
  • Google Search for Prior Art Commercial Products
  • FreePatentsOnline for Patent and Patent Publications Prior Art Search
  • DesignCad software for preparing formal drawings
  • Developed my own invention prototyping skills by trial and error

The cost of my patent filings, other than sweat equity and the cost of prototyping materials was the cost of the books, the CAD drawing software, the USPTO filing fees and the prototyping expenses. Significantly absent were the legal costs. I couldn’t (and still can’t) afford them for the multiple filings I intend to do each year.

I got considerable value in learning how to navigate the inventing process by attending the Inventors Association of New England (IANE) monthly meetings and attending and presenting at the bimonthly Inventors Clinic, both hosted by Bob Hauslein.

Finally, to aid in my patent application preparation, I decided that I needed a better understanding of patent law. I bought a patent exam preparation home study course, (Longacre’s–$1200), studied intensely for three month, and passed the exam on my first try on April 10, 2008. I was officially registered as a Patent Agent by the USPTO on June 4, 2008.