Any inventor or educational institution can apply to protect their intellectual property with a patent, but this doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. Leading US patent attorney Gene Quinn describes applying for your own patent as akin to “performing surgery on yourself”: while it’s technically possible to do so, the fact that your gift lies in creating and inventing means you’re unlikely to be conversant in the language and intricacies of patent practice to a level that would prevent you from making mistakes. Intellectual property law is complex, and it would be unwise to assume you have a strong grasp of it if you don’t spend your working life immersed in this area.
That’s why it usually pays to engage the services of intellectual property experts to help you apply for a patent. These are some of the reasons why using an expert patent attorney to protect your intellectual property can prove a sound investment:
- Using an expert patent attorney to protect your intellectual property may be expensive in the shorter term but it can help you reap the rewards of a well-protected invention that you can commercialise.
- Applying for a patent through a patent attorney is likely to be a quicker and more efficient process than doing it yourself.
- Your patent application needs to describe your invention in a way that someone who’s never come across it before would understand – you’ll probably have spent years working on your invention and are intimately acquainted with it, meaning you might forget that things obvious to you are not so obvious to others.
- You’re less likely to be subject to legal challenges over your patent.