Patents

Drafting a patent application is a tricky business. Phrase it too narrowly and you could lose out on important protection, especially if some one else comes along and creates something similar but just outside the scope of your specifications or claims. Draft it too broadly and your patent could be denied – or at minimum you might have to go back to the drawing board and make changes. This could slow down the process and add to your costs.

Ideally – for an all-round service including not only drafting the application but also prosecuting it through the labyrinth of procedure – you would go to a registered patent agent. But not everyone can afford this – especially individual inventors and small start-ups. It is possible, and perfectly legal, to file your own patent application and prosecute the application yourself. Indeed the UK patent office, and many others, try to be helpful to inventors who file their own applications.

But sometimes it’s good to have a helping hand from those who have more experience. We, at the Professional Copywriting Service, are not patent agents. We do however employ experienced technical writers who have drafted patent applications that have been granted by the Intellectual Property Office. We have worked with leading patent agents in the prosecution of these applications and gained a wealth of experience in this field. We also have a graphic drafting  team to do the drawings. (This is an entirely optional, additional service. If you have your own drawings and are satisfied with them, you do not have to use this additional service. But it is available if you need it.)

The flexible service we offer you, therefore, is to draft your patent application – including abstract, background to the invention, description/specification and claims – so that you can either submit it yourself or take it to a patent agent in an advanced state of preparedness. Alternatively, we can copy-edit or proofread the draft you have already prepared.

Remember that even if you are planning on taking it to a patent agent, the better the preparation of the application before you take it to the patent agent, the less work the agent will need to do and therefore the less you will have to pay for. And if you have a limited budget and prefer to submit the application YOURSELF, our modest fees (compared to those of patent agents) are well worth paying for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your application has been properly and professionally drafted.

We said before that drafting an application is tricky. But prosecuting the application can be like crossing a minefield. After you have submitted your application, when you get to the preliminary search and substantive examination stages,  you may find yourself having to respond to issues raised by the patent office. If you feel yourself out of your depth in giving these responses, we can help you draft them clearly and effectively.

However, even before you file your patent application or ask us to draft it, there is something else that you should do first: a patent search. Never assume that just because you have invented something or had some clever idea, that it hasn’t been invented before. Just because you haven’t seen it on the market, doesn’t mean that it is not registered at the patent office in one or another country. Even if it has merely been disclosed in the press or elsewhere, you might find your path blocked. The rule is that if an “enabling description” containing the relevant “inventive step” has been published or “disclosed” anywhere else in the world – except in your own prior and pending patent application – then you will not be able to patent the invention. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that in this modern age of the internet, there are many powerful tools available to help you search the “prior art” to find out if some one else has beaten you to the punch. In addition to drafting patent applications and responses to patent office search and examination reports, we can also carry out contract research on your invention to give you a heads up on the prior art.

In some cases we may be doing ourselves out of a job: telling you that the invention is unoriginal and there is no scope for patenting it. But if that is what the research shows, then that is what we will tell you. There are some smooth (and cunning) operators out there who will heap lavish praise on your invention to flatter your ego and then charge you inordinate sums of money to file the application for you, regardless of your chances of getting a patent. We do not operate like that. We will provide you the service that you request – prior art search, application drafting and response drafting – but we will always be up-front and open with you about the prospects.

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