Friday, July 19, 2013

Buyer Beware: Form Preparation Companies and So-Called Patent “Applications”

An entrepreneur recently approached me with a patent application that was "prepared" by an online form-preparation company.  It was all that we could do to rescue the invention from that "application."  One thing is nearly certain with that application, the claims in any patent issuing from it will be worth only a fraction of the potential the idea holds.  

Please know that “caveat emptor” (buyer beware) applies to the preparation of a patent application.  For a mere $2500 this client bought the privilege of filling out a form and having the form company “mechanically’ file it.  To find out what he bought I recently perused some typical form company websites.  I found was that for several thousand dollars an entrepreneur can get an Attorney "consultation," several pages of "professional" drawings, several pages of specification, a fixed (and low) number of claims, and a fixed number of drafts.  

In comparison, a competent Patent Attorney will not only consult with you, they will pour their talent into your application.  They will also prepare the number of drawings that it takes to illustrate your idea: not stop at some arbitrary number.  Similarly, they will draft the specification until it adequately discloses the idea, not stopping at some arbitrary number.  Finally, they will prepare a full set of claims (20 total) allowed by the Patent Office standard filing fees unless you are willing to pay the Patent Office for more.

So again, caveat emptor.  

We at the Villhard Patent Group would be glad to discuss your situation with you.  For more information about us, see or contact us at or (512) 897-0399.

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