The number of patents filed in the United States has grown dramatically over the years. Between 1915 and 1916, there were more than 400 patents per person issued by the U.S. Patent Office. By contrast, between 2010 and 2011, that number was more than 120,000. As global competition just keeps going up, the U.S. has dropped to ninth place in terms of the numbers of patents issued. As you would expect, this correlates to an increase in patent applications. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of patent applications filed went up by 9% (2.6 million were filed globally in 2013). All of this would make for an intellectual lawyer’s dream but many people are opting to file their applications themselves.
On the face of it, filing without the help of an intellectual property lawyer may seem like a wise and prudent thing to do. It is cheaper and if it is just about paperwork, what do you really need patent lawyers for? There is a lot of risk involved in going it on your own when it comes to filing for any kind of intellectual property protection. If your invention is worth getting a patent, you may want to think that it probably worth investing in a patent law expert.
Reasons to Hire an Intellectual Property Lawyer to File Your Patent Application:
- An intellectual property lawyer can make sure the concept is complete. Sometimes inventors are too excited about their product and apply for a patent before the idea has been fully developed. The problem is often they see where the project is going before it is fully there. There are some standards set on what products will get patents. Inventors need to be able to say that their invention solves some societal problem or problems and that it serves some sort of actual purpose. The idea has to be fully realized and it needs to be possible to create a physical prototype so that its purpose can be demonstrated. The last criteria that needs to be met is that all uses of the product need to have been considered. This is often hard for inventors to do by themselves because they are too close to the project and only see how they intend it to be used.andnbsp;
- A patent lawyer can protect your invention. Many inventors disclose too much information about their invention while filing their patent application. People invent things to make money off of them. That is no secret. One key to getting funding for a project is to show it to investors and venture capitalists. The problem is that to generate interest in a product, the inventor has to show it off and give details about how it works. This may include showing a prototype of the invention. This is where the problems start. Unless the investors or others who are looking at the new product have signed a binding non-disclosure agreement, they can steal the idea and claim it was theirs. Without paperwork, the original inventor may not be able to prove it was theirs.andnbsp;
- Professionals can show inventors all the ways to commercialize their product. Because they are only looking at their intended use, inventors may also lose out on other ways the product is useful to other areas or disciplines. When they file their patent applications, they often file very narrow ones that limit the ways they can profit from their work. An intellectual property lawyer can see more ways the inventor can benefit from their creation.
- They can open the invention up to an international audience. People tend to think only of their “neck of the woods” but many inventions have applications that go far beyond the region in which they were developed. A good intellectual property lawyer can see beyond the local and regional applications and perhaps find international ones that increase its profitability. This means, the inventor only files for a patent in the United States when they may be able to do so in other countries but if it is released without those international patents, they lose the patent protection in other places.