Here's one of my blog entries...
Do you need a patent?
I wasn't sure if I needed a patent or not. I knew that I wanted to protect my idea from being stolen. So, I did what you are probably doing right now and did a google search for "how to patent and idea" and quickly became more confused and concerned about how to proceed. Let me provide you background of my journey.
My idea started in 2013 and I was paranoid to send emails or even talk on my cell phone because of my concern that someone would hear my idea and steal it. I actually only spoke to my closest friends and even voice recorded my first meeting with a developer. (I told him that I was going to record the conversation and he was ok) I thought by recording my conversation I would have more protection in case he tried to steal my idea. This was my first time trying to get a patent and have someone else build the software for me.
I wasn't sure how to begin the process of getting a patent to protect my idea. I searched the internet for "Florida Patent Attorney", "How to protect my idea", and similar searches and found a ton of information. It was honestly too much information and like I said earlier it caused more confusion than anything else. After several phone calls and late nights in front of my computer, I finally decided to go with the Concept Law Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. One of the main reasons was because they were close to were I lived. This meant that I could sit down in front of them to explain my idea in person. This turned out to be very important. Not only was The Concept Law Group great to work with but they were able to translate my idea into a non-provisional patent application with many specific claims. Feeling very confident I left their office thinking I would have a patent soon.
How long does it take to get a patent?
After approximately 1 year I finally heard that the United States Patent Office was going to review my patent. Excitement turned to disappointment when my initial patent application was denied. However, the team at The Concept Law Group told me not to get too disappointed as this happens often and that they would reply to the "office action" and seek to clarify my claims and illustrate how they were different than what the USPO Examiner had found in their search. Several more months had passed and we received another office action, once again it was explained to me that this is a common situation and my team at the Concept Law Group filed a response on my behalf. It was almost 3 years since I filed my original patent that I finally received the phone from my Patent Attorney copy who said "Congratulations, your patent was approved". It was several months later that I actually received a second patent by filing a continuation with additional claims based on my first patent. I proudly now have TWO patents hanging on my wall!
Click play on the video above to listen to my patent attorney explain what a patent is and why you might need one.
How much money does it take to file a patent?
This is a tough question because I would believe every patent is different. Filing a patent is not that expensive. It is creating the patent and making sure it accurately captures your idea that is the tricky part in my opinion. I was unable to write my own patent because of the method in which they are written and my own fear of messing it up. You should really consider letting a patent attorney handle this for you. The language that a patent attorney creates is very unique and may not make a lot of sense to the average person reading it. I know that I struggled at first to understand my own patent. It takes a person like a patent attorney to craft a patent in a manner that the Patent Office expects. Also, some patents may be very complicated and require art that only a professional engineer can create while others can be drawn using common desktop software or even a steady hand and paper. My patent falls somewhere in the middle... It is not overly complicated but it did require a professional to draw the illustrations that represent the artwork. I also had two office actions that required additional meetings and legal replies to the United States Patent Office. There were also countless phone conversations and meetings during the process. In the end, I spent over 20,000 for my patent. In my opinion it was well worth the money. Having a patent gives you credibility when talking to possible investors and shows that you believe in your idea so much that you are willing to put your own money into your idea. However, if I didn't receive a patent than I would have spent a lot of money and would most likely have felt it was a very expensive gamble that failed.
After my patent was official, I met with my patent attorney for lunch (he paid). We had a great conversation and I explained to him that a lot of people could use his services. He agreed and ironically, he has now become one of my clients and I am providing him the same high value services that he had provided me.
I highly recommend anyone looking to patent their idea to call my patent attorney, Scott Smiley. Scott is the founder of The Concept Law Group. They offer a free confidential consultation. I have provided his video above so you can get a sense of how he operates and contact information if you like his style. If you do call him, feel free to tell him that "Ray the Fireman" referred you.
Thanks and I wish you much success with your idea. Contact me if you have any questions or if I can help you in anyway.
Firefighter and Owner of https://ThinkBigWebsites.com
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