Intellectual PropertyPatents

How Hard Is It to Patent an Invention Without a Patent Attorney?

Patents can be filed with or without engaging a patent attorney. A patent attorney is a qualified legal professional who specialises in patent drafting and filing and helps the clients to have their patents granted with minimal effort.

A patent is a new idea that might be a unique product or a process, that is converted into a workable invention. Sometimes you need a pattern attorney to file the patent. The inventor herein is granted the exclusive rights to manufacture and sell the product, thereby preventing the others from doing the same. Patent right is therefore a negative right, as it prevents the rest of the world from commercially exploiting the patented invention. Also, patent rights are not absolute. The Patent Act, of 1970 strikes a balance between establishing the rights of the patentee and the interest of the general public. Holding this in mind, a patent should be drafted in such a way, that the inventor can claim the invention but must not go far and beyond and claim anything and everything under the sun.

Is a Patent Attorney Really Required to File a Patent?

Once an inventor comes up with a revolutionary invention, the next sensible step to pursue is to file a patent at the earliest possible. But whom should the inventor approach to get the job done? More importantly, should the inventor even approach anyone to get it done? The Patents Act, 1970 mentions that a patent can be drafted and filed by the true and the first inventor. The Act nowhere mentions that it is mandatory to bring in a patent attorney into the picture. There are instances wherein the inventors themselves draft and file their patents. After all, who would know the invention better than its inventors?  Furthermore, when individuals or indigenous start-ups intend to file patents, they are forced to think of cost-cutting. In an attempt to save the attorney fee, many inventors try their hand at drafting and filing their patents. To them, the attorney fee is an added burden along with the charges for the application fee.

On the other hand, the process of getting a patent granted is not a child’s play. It might be too risky if inventors, who are most often amateurs in drafting patents, take patent filing into their own hands. We only wish it was as simple as taking a random application form and filling in the details and submitting it and within, say, 30 days, TA-DA the patent miraculously appears before the inventor. Unfortunately, the reality bites! Getting a patent granted, not to mention the cumbersome processes of examinations, office actions, and hearings is complicated and extremely time-consuming.

It is true that the inventor would be well versed in the technical details of the invention. But a patent specification, where the claims are drafted, is a techno-legal document and has to be drafted in line with the Patent Act, 1970. An inventor might not have the in-depth legal expertise to draft the patent specification. An inventor might still try drafting the patent by browsing through search engines and by gathering the necessary techniques to make it through. But it won’t be too late before the inventor realises that a patent specification is a lot different from a dissertation or a thesis report.

Patent specifications are complex and demand intricate detailing. Designing the claims too broad would affect the interest of the public, and making them too narrow would not render effective protection for the invention. This could make the entire research and the resources spent on the invention futile. Further, the inventor loses the competitive advantage, and the invention could fall into the public domain. Besides that, it’s a techno-legal document and has a number of legal compliances to be adhered to. The specification must be in line with the Patent Act, 1970, the Patent Rules, 2003, and other general guidelines.

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Therefore, a patent professional, say a patent agent or a patent attorney must step in under these circumstances. A patent professional will draft the specifications in such a way that the invention gathers maximum protection. Also, care would be taken to ensure that the invention does not infringe any existing patents. A seasoned attorney would draft the claims in a way that can tackle any invalidation attacks in the future. Apart from the claims, the complete specification must encompass all the embodiments of the invention. Every claim mentioned should be supported in the description of the specification. Unfortunately, an inventor cannot pick up these nuances overnight.

Also, getting a patent granted is not only dependent on a well-drafted specification, but also on responding to office actions and attending hearings promptly. These could be better handled with a patent attorney besides the inventor. The inventors simply need to execute a power of attorney favouring the patent attorney to represent them in matters pertaining to the invention. Also, the inventor might wish to apply for patents in other countries as well, as a patent is a territorial right. Most patent attorneys have tie-ups with foreign patent attorneys or firms and could get the process started in a jiffy. Patent agents and most patent attorneys are science graduates who can easily understand the invention and could work hand-in-hand with the inventor. Therefore, a prudent inventor must make a wise decision of hiring a patent attorney to take care of the drafting, filing, and other legal formalities and invest the precious time in improvising the invention.

Inventors must prioritise both their needs and costs while applying for a patent. Keeping an attorney away at this juncture, to save the expenses could put the invention on the line. Writing a patent specification is an art, and it is done best when entrusted with patent professionals.  you can reach out to Vakilsearch for any patent regarding assistance

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