DIY Patent Online
Patent it yourself and save thousands
How to write a patent and file it in the UK, USA, Europe, Canada and Australia.
Amazon ebook for Kindle, Kindle Reader on Mac, PC, ipod, iphone, ipad, Android etc.
DIY Patent online takes a practical approach for the lone inventor or small business. We live in a global village and today a patent in a single territory is of limited interest. DIYPO describes exactly how to write and apply for a basket of international patents - a UK patent, European patent, US patent, Canadian patent, Australian patent and a thing called a PCT, which buys time to include all other territories. The advantage of sticking to these five territories is they have a combined consumer population of over a billion and the applications can be all be made in English, avoiding costly translations. In short, this basket of patents allows you to cover most the Western World, paying nothing more than official fees and allows you to prosecute importers as well as local manufacturers.
There are many looking to prey upon the naive inventor. My first advice is don't pay for a patent search or anything else, do it all yourself and find out how patenting works, it isn’t so hard. Ultimately you can’t get around paying for an official patent search in every territory but that is a year down the line. All searches are international and produce virtually the same results.
Exactly how to do it
DIYPO is filled with what you need to know, not the confusing babble about patenting that is the hallmark of Youtube patent videos and Patent attorney sites. These feed you the titbits but in reality tell you nothing. DIYPO is all you need to understand how to write a patent and file it in 41 countries. It's also an easy read, set out in short snippets to keep you focused, and written in the same style as the copy you are reading here. If you can get to the bottom of this, you can get through DIYPO.
DIYPO is not just for lone inventors, it’s for businessmen who are thinking about briefing patent attorneys for the first time and wanting to understand the process. It’s also for students as well as engineers and designers in the creative business who want to understand what is and isn’t patentable. Hopefully it will enable you all to recognise a patentable idea when your next Eureka moment arrives. It will also help you understand that today the cost of patenting is no real barrier if you do it all yourself and use your patent application to sign a licensee as I did.
Applying for a patent first time around is daunting but DIYPO shows you how to go about it step by step. Although you are full of enthusiasm, the reality is you are new to patenting and your idea is unlikely to be patentable or even marketable. However you are an inventive person. You have lots of ideas. If you use a patent attorney and your patent fails, you are unlikely to attempt to patent anything ever again due to the substantial patent attorney fees involved, which will definitely run into many thousands of pounds.
It all begins with imagination
Before you can patent you need an invention. Everything that has ever been created by man has had to be imagined. Invention starts out as an idea, a mental process, which is honed using models, tests and trial and error. If you are a student in the creative or engineering field, you have a lifetime of creativity ahead of you, there is nothing more important than to learn what is and isn't patentable and understand exactly how to go about the patenting process. My advice is to write a patent for a standard or fantasy product just as an exercise. This will cost you nothing more than your time. You will not only learn how to think in patentable terms, but also how to search internationally and recognise other patents that might prevent your patent from being granted.
You can’t patent an idea
Although an idea is where it starts you cannot patent an idea, only products or processes can be patented. A patent describes a product or process using drawings linked to descriptions. These are written and set out in a very formal legal way and DIYPO explains this quickly and gives you tips and a cheat.
Music software, personal computers and the Internet have allowed bands to record and release their own songs, destroying much of the corporate record industry, which so often leeched off their talent. Similarly the book trade is quaking as ebook publishing allows authors to take control and do without publishers and bookshops. Graphic design fees and printers prices have been decimated as new technology brought desktop printing to all. However what no patent attorney will tell you, is these changes are nothing compared to the accessibility that servers and the electronic highway have brought to the dusty, crusty Dickensian and secret world of patenting. Patent attorney fees are still based on yesterday’s analogue methods but are being performed speedily by today’s digital technology. Realistically patent attorney fees should have tumbled out of sight but the fact remains they haven’t, mainly because the layman doesn’t have a clue about patenting.
About the Author
I have been both licensee and licensor, involved as a designer with the three biggest toy companies in the world and also the big Hollywood studios, two of which have used my latest invention. Briefing patent attorneys, way back before personal computers, introduced me to the patenting process. DIY Patent Online is based on my experience successfully patenting my third invention myself without a patent attorney.
A licensee of mine, a major corporation, consulted me on the patentability of an idea they had. Explaining the process of international patenting to them made me realise there was a need for something precise and to the point and I discovered books were thin on the ground, mostly geeky and none covered the international aspect of patenting in any depth whatsoever.
Although there’s lots written about patenting on the Internet it is either by patent attorneys selling their services and giving general advice but not much away, or the bloated national intellectual property organisation sites, which I used. These drown in a forest of erroneous copy, often written by lawyers, not essential in the first instance to getting the job done and only concerned with their particular piece of the jigsaw. When I looked I found nothing giving the hints, wrinkles and short cuts to writing and filing a patent or explaining the tactics, total costs and wider ramifications of the various alternative routes to take internationally. These are quite mind-boggling but easy to understand with somebody holding your hand.
I could easily make DIYPO a more extensive work but that would not help. Check out any of the national patenting sites and see what I mean, there are words aplenty, far too many, but none show a clear path through the forest of international bureaucracy. DIYPO has no filler to create a thick spine for a bookstore bookshelf and neither will you find any, ‘you can be a patent millionaire’ hyperbole so often employed to sell ebooks. My patent hasn’t made me a fortune. However it has more than paid for all international patent fees and now brings in a decent income.
I did consider publishing DIYPO as a printed book, it’s easy enough with Amazon’s Create Space but books lack the ability to hyperlink, which really comes into its own when explaining patenting. DIYPO is fully hyperlinked to its Table of Contents and also to over forty external links, including filing sites, search databases, patent examples and third party help sites. The ebook advantage also allows me to keep things up to date and add in tips, which I discover as I continue on my own patenting journey.
What is included in DIYPO?
The patenting process is described in simple layman’s terms. All the basic fees are listed for my basket of international patents with various totals depending on routes taken. Also included are hyperlinks to complete lists of international fees and forms, most of which you are unlikely to need. I give you the inside track to patentable inventive thinking as well as various route maps depending on your individual circumstances.
Compared to yesterday, patenting today is easy. These next paragraphs are to put today’s amazing technical advances in patenting into perspective, which hopefully should give you the confidence to have a go at patenting yourself with the help of DIYPO.
Thirty years ago patent applications involved an enormous amount specialist work, which was difficult, although not impossible, for the layman to undertake. First a you or a patent clerk had to search through box files and bound copies of printed patents. There were no computers to help the search and patents had to be typed up and hand drawn using Rapidograph pens and geometric stencils by very skilled artists.
The UK Patent Office was in London’s Holborn at old 25 Southampton Buildings, which had the atmosphere of a Victorian library and the aura of a staid gentleman’s club. It was a dingy wood-panelled mausoleum of a place, a stone’s throw from ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’, and as Dickensian as anything you can imagine, with staff to match. A single new-fangled photocopier was just about installed when I first went there but letters still had to be typed and posted, as did replies. There was no concept of service to aid British invention. Unlike the regular patent clerks who knew the ropes, lone inventors like me, were just about tolerated and had to be grateful for any meagre assistance we could get from disdainful staff.
The IPO later moved a mile or so away to State House, an unappealing ’Seventies tower block featuring Barbara Hepworth’s Meridian sculpture out front to cheer it up. Microfiche was installed along with more photocopiers and security. The new systems were now jealously guarded by staff who became ever more unhelpful and obstreperous to lone inventors who didn’t know the ropes. After the IPO moved to Wales, Pepsi bought the Hepworth for their New York HQ, and in 1990 State House was demolished with not a tear shed by me.
Around that time Apple desktop computers and PCs running Windows began to become practical propositions to assist in writing and drawing up patents but an Internet connection for most of the population was still ten years away and worldwide electronic databases of patents were yet to become a reality. I recall an office in Holborn where you could now search the new IPO databases using their computers, which was a major advance. When the IPO moved to Wales it still kept a London Office in Bloomsbury Street, next to the British Museum, where you could hand deliver documents and get a date stamp. A London office still exists for that purpose: 1st Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT.
However today you can search and file for patents all around the world online. You can still use the post but filing online is usually cheaper, so my guess is the London IPO’s office days are numbered.
Paying patent fees online is the latest development and in the UK you can do this by debit card, credit card or online transfer but paying online only became a reality in Australia in 2012 and is still being developed. Many IPOs around the world are still in the process of getting the complete process of online patenting up and running online. Even today faxes are still sometimes used, as analogue data, like bank account details, cannot be compromised like emails.
Above all my intention has been to make DIYPO as readable as possible to get you up and running as quickly and painlessly as possible. I introduce you to the wide picture first so you absorb the general idea, then fill you in, before finally drilling down to the detail and tips that patent attorneys and those who haven’t actually invented and patented anything themselves are unlikely to know. I suggest you read DIYPO from start to finish to get the total picture of patenting and invention and then use it as a reference. There is no chapter to skip, you need all this knowledge in the right order, skip around and you will get confused and could miss important tips.
If you still feel like having a go a patenting yourself DYPO is there to help you, I only wish it had been there for me.