Why ask a patent attorney? I can do this on my own

von Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP

Applying for a patent might seem wonderfully easy at first sight. As soon as applicants have developed their invention, they approach the patent office all on their own, download all available documents and how-to’s, write their patent application and off they go. “Why should I ask a patent attorney, who takes a lot of time and causes additional costs, to only do exactly the same thing – sending a pile of paper to the patent office?” This is what many of them think.

Why this assumption is treacherous and risky

Unfortunately, patent laws are not that easy to comprehend for the general public, which is why the worth of a patent attorney’s work often stays obscure. The quality of his or her work is not to be measured by the height of the paper stack on the desk, but lies rather in the thorough preparation of the application, in comprehensive and detailed consultations, and also in legal support, in case anything goes wrong.

With patent applications, not only the major, most striking factors matter. Also the finer points have a huge impact on the overall success of your project. There are a lot of details and pitfalls, which might particularly trick you when you least expect it. Let’s have a look at some examples:

A filed application doesn’t automatically lead to granting

Before you file a patent application, you have to research if your invention really stands out from the state of the art, i.e. if it’s “new enough” to be protected with a patent. But if you miss something important during your research, your application might get too similar to some already granted patents, which means your invention’s newness might be seriously disputed or even negated during the application’s examination.

Maybe you have found the application itself really easy – But the granting of your patent might therefore have changed into an unrealizable wish ...

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