The Potential Risks of Filing Online Patent Applications

The Potential Risks of Filing Online Patent Applications

October 22, 2022
Walker Weitzel
Patent Attorney , Patent Law , Patent Learning

Patent applications

Filing patent applications is a time-consuming and expensive process because of the many technical legalities, specifications, and fees involved. Most patentees find it overwhelming to invest their time and resources to file for a patent application that may or may not be granted. 

But the patent protection rights granted on the issuance of a patent application far outweigh the initial investment of the patent application filing process. That’s why most patent owners try to find a way around paying the patent attorney fees and filing a provisional patent application themselves. 

There are two ways of filing a patent application:

  • Have your patent lawyer do it for you
  • File it yourself online

However, it’s extremely difficult to understand and complete all the requirements of the provisional patent applications and file them accurately. Often patentees seek the help of online websites for patent filing, where they are directed with a series of questions to help them complete the application. The answers are then filled in a patent application format and submitted to the patent office

Are Online Website Patent Applications Successful?

It is difficult to ascertain how many of the applications filed online are approved. Since each patent case is unique and the requirements and circumstances around it are different, the results can’t be accurately predetermined.

Though it will be unfair to say that none of the online applications are approved. There may be cases where the online patent process has worked for patent owners. But the patent application is a highly personalized process that requires legal advice and input that can only be provided by a qualified legal patent attorney.  

For example, patent ownership may be single or joint, or there may be infringement issues the patentee may wish to protect against before filing. Many issues must be addressed before a formal non provisional patent application is filed. Maybe a patent owner or company is still in the development or marketing process. In that case, their patent lawyer may advise them to save costs and protect their patent invention with a non-provisional application. And when the marketing and testing are finished, they can file a provisional patent application, taking the advantage of the earlier filing date. 

Online website patent applications will not give you the insights or advice a physical or online consultation with a reputable patent attorney will. This will leave you open to possible risks of legalities or loopholes which you d not have the legal insight to prepare for. 

An additional downside to filing a patent application with an online website is that they do not guide you legally on the different aspects of filing a patent application. Only generalized helpful tips are given, which may not apply to each patent case. The answers you fill in are simply placed in a preset format and submitted without review or revisions. So any mistake or technicality can result in your patent application being rejected, resulting in loss of patent application fees and patent ownership. 

Therefore, seek the counsel of a certified patent attorney with online consultation to understand the requirements of a patent application. This will allow you to make informed decisions because a patent lawyer will not only guide you on how to fill a patent application but also provide legal counsel pertaining to the unique requirements of your patent case. 

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