16 Apr Successful patent preparation: what you and your patent attorney need to know
Our firm is based in Brisbane but many of the patent specifications we write are for inventors that are located in other parts of Australia. We’ve prepared patent applications for people needing patent attorney help in many other towns including Lismore, Melbourne, Townsville, Bundaberg, Caloundra and Cairns, to name a few.
Before the current health crisis, we were able to assist many of these innovators via phone or online meetings and we continue to provide meetings in this way, so please feel free to give us a call or email us to set up a Zoom or Skype meeting.
To make the most of our time, the following post will outline the main things we like to address initially that you might like to consider before your meeting with your patent attorney.
Would you be able to build a prototype?
Firstly, we want to make sure that your invention is more than a concept. For example, do you know how to actually make the invention or are you still at the stage where you know what you want the invention to do but you don’t know how it will do it? We’ll ask you if you’ve got any drawings that illustrate your invention and show how it works. If you’ve got a mechanical invention like a new builder’s tool or a component for an engine or a machine for working in a mining environment then the drawings should show a physical object and especially the new parts.
If your invention is in the IT area, for example a mobile phone app or a web based solution then we’ll ask you what your documentation is like. E.g. do you have any screen shots that show what people see on their phone or computer screen? Would you be able to provide any flowcharts illustrating the processes that are involved in delivering the IT product?
What differentiates your invention?
The second question we will ask is “what makes your invention new and inventive or at least innovative?”. If, for example, you say that it’s new in Australia but you’ve seen the same thing in the USA then unfortunately the invention must be new on a global basis to be a candidate for patent protection. If you say that as far as you can tell it’s new but you’re not entirely sure then we’ll discuss searches that should be performed to get a better idea of whether or not it really is a new invention.
During our discussion we’ll also ask you about the problem that your invention is designed to solve. E.g., what does it do better than older machines or methods? What benefits does it impart?
Have you disclosed how it works?
The third issue that needs to be discussed is whether or not you’ve already made non-confidential disclosures of your invention. E.g., have you been selling the invention or have you shown it on your website or told people about it without firstly getting their OK that they understand that it’s confidential. The general rule is that the invention must be kept confidential before a patent application is filed but there are some loopholes to that which are sometimes available.
If your answers to these questions indicate that you’re at the right stage for a patent application and it looks like the invention is new and you haven’t self-published it then we can talk about the cost and the process for preparing a patent application.
The next step is that we’ll ask you to send us more information describing your invention. That information might be photos, technical drawings, a detailed written description, a hand drawn sketch or any other material that helps us to properly understand the best version of your invention.
It might seem from the above that it is a very complex process to get to the stage of having the first draft of your patent application prepared but it’s best to make sure we are on the same page and understand your invention fully in order to identify the best ways to protect it. Typically it takes one or two weeks to get the first draft back to you.
Please call us on 07 3369 2226 or email [email protected] to discuss whether you’re ready for a patent application. We’re here to make sure you get the best intellectual property protection for your innovation and look forward to assisting you.