Patent drafting, when done correctly, takes time and money. Yet there are ways a client can help decrease the amount of time and costs to draft the patent application. As our clients look to trim costs, we would like to provide some tips on how to reduce the overall costs of preparing a patent application.
1) Provide the best write-up possible with some sketches and diagrams, along with any design documents. This may not be easy to do for a raw idea, but thinking through the invention and its practical applications will help to flesh it out.
2) Try to do as much of the work as you can yourself. Patent attorneys usually do not know as much about the invention as the inventor. If the attorney has to learn and draft everything from scratch, it will obviously cost a lot more than if the inventor presents a full write-up of the invention, its background, and applications. Use an inhouse technical writer who can effectively communicate ideas on paper, to prepare a writeup for the attorney.
3) Try to fully envision the invention before consulting the attorney. If the inventor continues to invent as the application is being drafted, it will cost a great deal more than if the concept is finished before drafting begins. Although a well-drafted patent application may inspire the inventor to come up with alternative embodiments and new implementations of the invention, if those go beyond minor refinements of the original invention, there will almost assuredly be increased costs.
4) Fully answer any questions the attorney has about the application. If the answers are bare and cryptic, then the attorney will have to spend additional time and resources figure it out. Err on the side of inclusion. Providing a lengthier answer than required is usually better than one that is too short.