I recently found out that to get mine patent will cost me more money than I have.
What would you recommend I do in order to save money on my patent?
Thanks in advance
As for quality:
there is no substitute for the experienced patent lawyer or patent agent, you ether have to become as skilled as they are or pay them to do the work for you. Also, no agent nor lawyer will put their name on the patent unless they will extensively redraft clams that you write. They are in business to make money. So most likely same price or 20% discount at most at expense of your time of 6 mo to 4 years. also, while you learning how to do what patent professional does someone can invent what you invented and file head of you.
Sapir, there are some other threads on CFL about patents that make some good suggestions. The best way to reduce the costs of getting your initial patent application drafted and filed is to:
1. Learn to speak "patentese": spend time on the USPTO website and study lots of patents where the applicant is a large company, i.e. a Microsoft, Google, Apple, Samsung, HP, IBM, Cisco, etc. These firms have their own in-house patent attorneys and hire experienced outside firms/attorneys to work on their patents so chances are good that the patent applications and issued patents are of high quality. Patents applications have a certain format, drawing specs, and 'language'. Learning this 'language' isn't that hard.
2. Find a few patents that you like and use them as models to draft your own application, with exception of the claims. have an experienced patent agent/attorney draft your claims.
3. understand that the application is only the start of the patent process - rather like filing a lawsuit. The 'prosecution' of your patent is where the real costs come in. In the US it will take 2-3 years for the patent office to even take a first look at your application so you have some time. put away money to pay future patent costs.
4. You want a high-quality patent with strong claims. If you are not prepared to pay the attorney fees necessary then it makes no sense to even start the process. I've not pursued a design patent, but Utility patents can range from $10k-$50k or more. It is very hard to nail down an accurate estimate. Patent attorneys/firms will float a low number to get you in the door and get the process started because once you start the process it's hard to say 'no' before your patent is actually issued.
I would caution against using anyone for any purposes related to patent writing or filing who is claiming to be "patent SOMEONE" without showing several patents with ether their name as Inventor or as a legal representative of the Inventor.
Also, in USA it is illegal to outsource patent work to other countries including India, unless you receive US Government's permission first.
Applicants who are considering exporting subject matter abroad for the preparation of patent applications to be filed in the United States should contact the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the Department of Commerce for the appropriate clearances.
That is a problem that many engineers and small companies have. However, a well written patent with strong claim coverage is worth the expense, if you are looking to commercialize your invention. My suggestion, draft your disclosure like a patent application using other well written patents as examples after you have your patent attorney conduct a patentability/state of the art search and opinion. Then, invest the money needed in a well written patent application from an experienced and reputable Registered Patent attorney, whom you trust. Don't go for cut rate applications, and don't disclose your invention to overseas patent firms, or you may violate US law requiring a foreign filing /disclosure license. Many companies have started by raising funds for their IP protection from friends and families. Do it the right way and you have a chance to succeed. Cut corners and your IP may not be worth the paper it is written on.
Best of luck,
I don't know about patenting in Canada where you profile said you are, but for USA:
1) time: 1 week-1 month, cost $300: buy books on how to file provisional patent - it will give you international priority in most countries for about 1 year and you can convert it later to full patent with in that 1 year. It will give you time to explore commercial viability of the proposed invention before you go for full patent expense
2) time: ??? cost $5k-$20k Make money and hire low cost professional who has the track record of winning patents for his clients in the area of your patent's subject matter.
3) forget about your patent :) - most full patents that are given have never produced any money.
4) find co-founder with skills to file for patent.
As you are an engineering student I also assume you've hit upon an idea no one else has and would like to protect your idea with a patent.
I have both filed patents and also had patent actions initiated against me. I've also licensed patents and tried to engineer around them!
I think you'd be better off buying a sandwich than spending anything on a patent. Patents are a process that go on for years and exist as a substructure to a larger company or organization that's got a need for the methods being protected.
Unless you're a small piece of something larger I'd be thinking about the process you want to protect and how to build that before a patent expense.
To formulate a patent you must anticipate how others would obtain the same result without infringement and code methods that cover those gaps in coverage. It's a highly defensive product and unless you understand the industry in which you're patenting something it's going to be able to be worked around and you'll have to litigate your rights. A very expensive proposition costing in the hundreds of thousands at a minimum.
I'm not trying to dissuade you necessarily... just trying to balance your priorities in achieving success with an idea.