I want to learn how to draft patents. Problem is, I don't have the money to go to college. Is there any online resource where I can learn this? I have taken many online courses over the years, including one on intellectual propertly law from UPenn. But the course did not teach how to draft patents. If there is any online course on drafting patents, please let me know.

I don't want to become a professional drafter. I just want to patent my own invention.

  • Is this related to an invention of your own or do you envision this becoming a profession?
    – Eric S
    Mar 21, 2017 at 2:22
  • I don't want to become a professional drafter. I just want to patent my own invention. I guess I should add this in the question
    – Huzaifa
    Mar 21, 2017 at 5:42

4 Answers 4


chempatents1981's answer is excellent and should be accepted. That said, I'd like to provide an alternative viewpoint. I am an inventor, not a patent lawyer. As such I don't have a specific financial interest in recommending using a patent lawyer rather than writing your own submission. Patent attorneys first need to get a degree in a technical field. All that I've worked with have followed that up with a advanced degree in science, math or engineering even before going to law school. You aren't going to match that background taking on-line courses. Drafting a patent application is only the first step in obtaining a patent. Nearly all my applications have had office actions and rejections that needed to be dealt with. This is a negotiation. An attorney understands this process and the very specific language necessary to convince an examiner of the worthiness of your patent. I can't imagine doing this on my own, and I have more than 80 patents.

That said, there are steps you can do that will make working with an attorney most efficient and thus less expensive. First you can try to perform your own prior art search. This answer describes my general approach. You are bound to find some patents that are related to your invention. Those can be useful as examples of what your patent may end up like. Next, you'll need to educate the patent attorney on the field of your invention and how your invention is novel and useful. Some of those related patents can provide useful text for the background information. Trying to write all this down in an informal "disclosure" that looks like a patent is a useful exercise that will speed this transfer of knowledge to the attorney. Don't bother trying to write claims, that is really an attorney's task. Remember, when using lawyers, time is literally money.


Patents are drafted with the aim to "fit" the legal background of the jurisdiction they belong, for example the US or the EPO. For every paragraph that seems to be repeating the same thing, there is an attorney who usually has something specific in mind (a rule or a legal decision that creates a specific landscape). One is not really taught how to draft patents, he learns how to draft a document that has good chances of surpassing an examiner's objections and would also stand in a courtroom, meaning that the patent is actually enforceable.

I understand you want to save money, but it's better to seek for an investor than try this out yourself and waste a good idea because of poor patent drafting.


Supporting answer to part of query:-

..... If there is any online course on drafting patents, please let me know....

You can enroll to WIPO drafting course which is good for learning basic drafting:-

WIPO Drafting Course


Check out a book called "Patent it Yourself" - It's published by Nolo press and is available on amazon.com. It's probably one of the best layman's guides to drafting patent applications.

  • For many, the primary use of "Patent it Yourself" may be to learn the lingo as a way to save money by not asking your patent attorney to teach you. Most people might be either a good inventor or a good patent attorney, but probably not both. I have picked up the pieces of many a "broken" patent application drafted by a layman.
    – Upnorth
    Sep 26, 2017 at 6:11

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