How to File a Patent

Let’s start with a simple understanding. If you have even the slightest suspicion that you want to patent a product, you need to hire and get legal advice from a patent lawyer or a patent agent. This blog is not legal advice. I am not your lawyer or your agent. I am not providing you with any legal advice, representation, or counsel. You and I have no attorney-client relationship. The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to the vocabulary that you will need when you got to a patent attorney and ask him to help you patent your product.

People frequently ask how to file a patent. First, you actually file a patent by filing an application for a patent. And I generally recommend that, if you are asking “how to file a patent,” what you really need to do is to hire a patent lawyer to file a patent application for you.

The only kind of lawyer who can file a patent application is a patent lawyer. A patent lawyer is a lawyer who can file a patent application because he is licensed as a lawyer by a U.S. state and is separately registered to practice in patent cases before the United States patent and trademark office. Like all lawyers, he has taken a state bar exam and he has a law degree. A patent lawyer is able to file a patent application for you because he also has a science or engineering degree and is registered to practice in patent cases before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

In order to be registered to practice in patent cases before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the patent lawyer takes a second bar exam, called the patent bar, which is an all-day test that has a roughly 60% pass rate. The reason that getting a patent lawyer to file a patent application for you is so expensive is that the training required to become a patent lawyer is difficult.

Now, you can file your own patent application, but it’s complex and it’s hard work. Counterintuitively, it is harder to write a patent application and get a patent on a simple application than it is to file a patent application and get a patent on a complex application.

Filing a patent application on a complex invention is easy to do because patent examiners are generally more inclined to grant patents on complex inventions than they are on simple inventions. The willingness of examiners to give more complex inventions a fairer hearing has less to do with the law than it does with the basic prejudices of patent examiners. When you hire a patent lawyer to file a patent application for you, your patent lawyer will understand these prejudices and will work them to your advantage to get a patent for you.

Remember: This blog is not legal advice. I am not your lawyer or your agent. I am not providing you with any legal advice, representation, or counsel.

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