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Top Five Patent Mistakes Inventors Make When They File On Their Own

Filing for a patent on your own may be cheaper than hiring a professional to do it, but is the risk of losing the invention you spent a lot of time developing worth the attempt to save a few hundred dollars? Here are the top five mistakes inventors make when they try to file their own patents.

1. Failing to completely keep the sensitive details of the inventions confidential
The potential of commercializing an invention and making millions out of it may inspire attempts by third parties to claim ownership over it. These individuals may be venture capitalists or just companies that deal in products relevant to the invention at hand. If the inventor fails to make someone he or she presents a prototype of the invention to, sign a non-disclosure agreement, it may prove difficult for the real inventor to claim ownership of the invention if the said third party decides to file a separate patent application instead.

2. Failing to develop the invention completely
For an invention to be recognized by the law it has to be something that serves a purpose, it should be able to be considered a solution to a specific problem or set of problems in the society. Many people in the past have confused ideas with inventions. An idea or basically just something that has been conceived in the mind without a physical functional prototype to fully demonstrate its intended aim cannot under law be considered an invention_ 3. Failing to consider all the possible applications of an invention

A good number of inventors only create inventions to tackle a specific issue or problem. Many inventions end up being useful in more than one field, in some cases in fields that inventors did not even consider. Patent applications filed with such limiting descriptions will make the inventor lose out when it comes to benefiting from the full potential of his or her work. Basically a broad patent is more profitable to an inventor than a narrow one, simply because it offers the inventor a lot of ways of commercializing his or her invention: for example through the licensing of the patent to companies for commercialization. The licensees may also practice the invention in ways not thought of by the inventor but still covered by the protection range of the patent.

4. Failing to think about the potential of reaching the international market
Most of the inventions presently available commercially, were initially envisioned with the aim of being exploited locally. Such inventions are only exploited internationally when they become successful locally. Not considering the international potential of an invention may end up costing the inventor the ability to successfully file for a patent in many other countries, since the laws of most countries, like the US have specific timelines for when a patent can be filed after making a sale or an offer to sell the invention.

5. Failing to enlist the services of a competent professional
It is not a good idea to draft and file your own patent application, despite the fact that the law allows this_ Just like any legal matter, a small word or punctuation mark in the wrong place can completely change the meaning of the intended description resulting in either an extremely limited description or a totally invalid application.

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