A HELPING HAND TO GET YOU ON YOUR WAY
The core skill of a patent attorney is patent drafting. One should never underestimate the amount of skill that is required to craft a patent specification that defines an invention in its broadest terms (i.e. that is most easily infringed), whilst just avoiding the prior art (i.e. still being novel compared to what has gone before). A poorly-drafted patent specification may not, with hindsight, cover the invention/product concerned, may not provide sufficient scope for subsequent amendment to address any substantive issues raised later on, and may be too easily avoided by your competitors. There can, therefore, be no substitute for a professionally drafted patent specification. Whilst many individual inventors appreciate this fact, funding and time pressures often inhibit their ability to retain the services of a patent attorney.
At Hutchinson IP, we therefore offer a patent drafting assistance service whereby, for a fixed-fee, we take your own specification and amend it for compliance with the legal requirements for a United Kingdom or European patent specification. This service includes, where necessary: inserting fallback positions of incrementally reducing scope (in case the basic idea turns out not to be new); amending a specific description of a particular embodiment of the invention; re-formatting the documents for compliance with the Patents Rules and/or EPC Implementing Regulations; preparing informal drawings; and drafting a set of claims. We will also provide you with the necessary forms and information that you will need to be able to file the application yourself, and will advise you as to the pros and cons of paying any fees and/or obtaining official searches.
We will not, however, actually file the application for you, pay any fees, or become your “address for service”. As such, you would remain in control of, and fully responsible for, the application. However, if your idea takes off, or if you decide to proceed further, we could, for a discounted fee, formally take over representation for the application at a later date and assume responsibility for the case.
If you prefer to retain responsibility for your application, but need assistance from time to time, e.g. upon receipt of an Official Action from an Intellectual Property Office, then we also offer ad hoc consultancy services, details of which can be found here.