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I have a great idea,
I would like to protect it, but I don't have the budget for a patent attorney at the moment. I was thinking to do it by my own. I wanted to know if I try my best to define the invention to it's tiniest details, and make anyone who's trained in that field (computer applicaitons) - capable of creating the invention, then I might have some basis for the non-provisional patent within this year.

Patent attorneys charge for a provisional patent filing as much as they do for a non-provisional patent where I live (non-US), so the costs are quite high.

How bad can this be if I go through an already filed patent and making matches to my own invention? Is this that stupid an idea?


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2 Answers 2

If you don't have a viable alternative and you are wiling put in the work, why not. I would recommend the well known book: Patent it yourself, by David Pressman and the less well known book by Ronald Slusky: Invention Analysis and Claiming. Although provisional applications do not need claims, seeing the thinking behind claims should help you with understanding the heart of what patents are about.

Look at a couple of issued patents in your field so you don't model it to closely on an outlier. Good luck.

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It's only stupid if you plan to build a proper business plan around this idea and commercialize it. In that case, your provisional patent may not 'have teeth', and you wasted time and money.

Software patents are exceptionally tricky. You claims could hold no real weight, if challenged.... which is the only time that really matters.

That said, if you read enough patents in your target area, you can learn enough of "the language of the art" to write a decent provisional application. For sure, do not file a full patent in software without an attorney. You chance of fail is nearly guaranteed.

Your business plan will give you the timeline to file. If you haven't written a business plan then you're putting cart before horse. But, on the off-chance that you're like me, and invented the magnetic power plug for laptops before Apple did, I'm writing to help you.

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