Properly, a patent writer is a registered patent agent or patent attorney who writes a patent application for an inventor looking for patent protection for their invention in the form of a patent. Patent application writing is our patent step 3, after the prior art search and patentability study. Patent application writing not only includes the writing of the specification, claims, and abstract, but also includes creating any needed drawings or flowcharts, and filling out all the proper forms needed for the patent application process. This article discusses what patent writing is, how much it costs to get a patent application written, and who can write a patent.
What is Patent Writing?
Patent writing is creating the written and drawn content necessary for a patent application for an invention. It is important for a patent writer to completely understand all of the elements of the invention. If successful, patent applications result in new legal rights being issued in the form of a patent. These new legal rights are intellectual property legal rights used to control the manufacturing, using, and selling of the protected invention or product. Patents are written so a person skilled in the art of the invention can make and use the invention. The patent application writing process often includes technical language that a patent writer likely has familiarity with.
Patent application writing contains all of the research and writing necessary to completely describe how to make and use the invention, including the specification, claims, abstract, and drawings. This written description should yield a concise and comprehensive explanation of how to make and use all elements of the invention according to the inventor. This description should be written in the exact terms someone skilled in the invention’s field (also known as the “art” of the invention) would understand. This way, the invention can be properly used or made as claimed.
Patent applications typically include an abstract of the patent, one or more claims, background information, detailed drawings and descriptions, and all necessary information needed to produce the invention as claimed. The USPTO defines 3 patent application kinds: design, utility, and plant patents. For utility and plant patent applications, the USPTO also recognizes two different types of patent applications: provisional and non-provisional (also known as “complete” or “regular”) applications. Read more about patent application writing.
Can anyone write a patent? Yes, but, patent writer experience matters
Yes, anyone can write their own patent, even a lawyer can do that. However, patent writing is widely considered one of the most challenging applications to write. Writing a patent application is fraught with many rules for required content, sections, and formatting that will result in objections and/or rejections from a patent examiner if not complete and proper. Attorneys/lawyers are not qualified to write patent applications for inventors because there is a special license required to be a patent practitioner. Most inventors need help getting all of the details complete and proper for a patent application for their invention. Licensed patent practitioners can be great patent writing partners.
Not only does the written description of patent applications have to contain the specifications and details, it also must incorporate any drawings, figures, or flowcharts needed to understand the invention. Patent drawings are typically single line drawings that lay out the invention’s elements and the relationships between them. Often the drawings will also reveal how the invention is made or used in a clearer manner than the written specifications.
There are more to patent applications than the specifications, claims, and drawings of an invention. There are forms that must be filled out correctly. If completed incorrectly, improper forms result in more time and money being spent to rectify the mistakes. Finding and working with a licensed patent practitioner is recommended.
You should only use a licensed patent practitioner as a patent writer. In the United States, a patent practitioner has passed an exam in order to receive their license to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patent attorney or patent agent qualification typically requires the individual to have an engineering degree or an advanced degree in a specialized area such as biology or chemistry to begin the patent writer career path. With this kind of specialized experience, licensed patent practitioners offer familiarity with the technicalities needed to understand all of the moving parts of writing patent applications for new inventions.
How do you become a Patent Writer?
In order to become a person qualified to write patents you must become a USPTO registered patent agent or patent attorney. There is an exam required commonly referred to as the patent bar. To qualify to take the patent bar requires an accredited bachelors degree in engineering or an advanced (masters, or doctorate) degree in a science. The patent bar examine is notoriously well known for being difficult to pass in spite of the multiple choices open book nature of the test.
The patent agent career path can be a very rewarding and beneficial career choice for any engineer. Patent agent jobs are easy to find (we can always use a good one on our team). Patent writer salary compensation is good and generally more than most engineers engineering.
Why you need a Patent Writer
Having a patent application writer can make all the difference. A USPTO patent agent or patent attorney completing the research along with comprehensively writing the application before filing can save the inventor a lot of time and money during patent prosecution. Patent prosecution is the last step in seeking patent protection for your invention, and it occurs after an invention is patent pending. For the most successful outcome to occur, filing a concise and clear application with comprehensive specifications, claims, and drawings is necessary. This is where having a professional patent writer like a licensed patent agent or patent attorney comes into play.
There are guidelines that must be followed when applying for a patent. An experienced patent agent or patent attorney has familiarity with said guidelines which can facilitate the patent application process without mistakes being made. The patent application process is already quite lengthy, so avoiding mistakes can help inventors receive protection for their invention quicker.
There are different approaches taken when it comes to writing the different patent applications (design, utility, and plant) because each patent type contains different intellectual property protections. Different guidelines and laws for each patent type require familiarity in order to complete the correct application without mistakes or misunderstandings. Patent practitioners carry the knowledge and expertise needed to comprehend each application process and its guidelines.
Close attention to detail is extremely important when it comes to patent application writing. The initial filing must be complete, because new matter cannot be added into an already filed application. If something in the specifications, claims, or drawings is missing, you must file an entirely new patent application or continuation in part application. You will get a new filing date for the new matter.
A continuation in part application is a type of patent application that is filed after the non-provisional application. The purpose of this type of application is to add information that was forgotten or missed in the original application. Another application equates to more money and time being spent. A patent writer helping with the application process for the first application means there likely won’t be a need for another application to be filed because something was missed or overlooked. Meticulousness is essential when it comes to a successful patent application filing. Patent attorneys and patent agents must be detail oriented to be successful.
An inventor’s ideas and innovations drive success and growth in their business. A good patent agent or patent attorney recognizes this and provides the necessary help to inventors protect their inventions. If done successfully, patent practitioners get to enable inventors’ dreams.
How to choose a Patent Writer
Choosing a patent writer (patent attorney or patent agent), is choosing the person who will be taking responsibility for writing the description of how to make and use your invention. The most important thing to focus on when selecting a person to write a patent application for your invention is whether they completely understand your invention and how it is made and used. Having a complete understanding of all of the elements being claimed by an invention is essential to writing a good patent application for the invention.
When choosing a person to write your inventions patent application the first thing to verify is that they have a license to practice before the USPTO and represent inventors and inventions. Importantly, only a USPTO registered patent attorney or patent agent can prosecute your inventions patent application. Other important things to consider with choosing a patent practitioner include the science specialty and experience searching, writing, filing and prosecuting patent applications.
Valuable Tip: Patenting experience with inventions like yours is not a good criteria to use for selecting a patent practitioner to help write a patent application for your invention. After all, if we are writing a patent application for your invention it is the first time the idea came up.
How much does it cost to write a patent application?
The cost to write a patent varies of course by kind and type of patent application. But, usually when the question is how much does it cost to write a patent, the question is about a non-provisional patent application seeking utility patent protection. The cost to write a patent application for a non-provisional patent application seeking utility patent protection varies from as low as $10,000 to as much as $30,000.
Note USPTO is fee funded – both application corrections and mistakes can require USPTO fees
It is important to note that the United States Patent and Trademark Office is a fee-funded federal government agency. Therefore, any errors made in the patent application or in responding during the prosecution process likely require more fees for the applicant.