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How to Draft a Patent Application

Patent Applications are tricky. Even the United States Patent and Trademark Office recommends you get an expert to draft your patent application. It is possible to draft your own patent, heck if the late night informercial lackeys can do it, anyone can. While you do have to be a federally registered patent attorney or patent agent to draft a patent application for someone else, you can draft your own application yourself. Although you might draft your application, and might even get the patent, it would be very unusual to get a patent with broad coverage. Most likely, you will end up with a very narrow patent, unlikely to be useful in stopping anyone from doing anything.

Even if you did obtain some coverage, even a slight error in the your dealings with the USPTO in getting the patent could later invalidate the patent altogether. For those interested, I did find some information on drafting your own patent. I provide this link, however, as more informational than instructional. I would put drafting your own patent right up there with doing your own brain surgery. Although the information on the link is generally good, I strongly disagree with some of the information. One example would be writing the claims first and having your patent attorney “review” them. This usually takes longer and/or costs more than just having the patent attorney do them right the first time.

Even if you have the book right there, it is probably not going to avoid a catastrophe. The link is valuable, however, in allowing you to familiarize yourself with the process and follow along with what your patent attorney is doing.

Brett Trout

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