My basic question is: to which degree can an imperfectly written but substantially complete PCT application still be upgraded/fine-tuned (by a good attorney) in the first couple of months after filing?
Here are more details:
I have a provisional filed with USPTO on June 1, 2017, and I plan to follow it up by June 1, 2018 with a PCT application to claim the provisional's priority date.
I have enough cash to pay the PCT filing fee with the USPTO as Intl Search Authority (about $2000) but I do not have enough cash right now to pay attorney fees. I have done a prior art search and read many patent texts as well as some instructional books and websites, so I feel reasonably confident to be able to put together specs and claims that are not half bad. That being said, I realize that I won't do as good a job as when working with an attorney. However, by fall, we will have incorporated, raised capital, and an attorney at our side.
Therefore the big picture is:
- I need to act now to keep the 2017 priority date alive
- I want to keep costs as low as possible until the fall
- I want to maximize options/salvageability at least for another 6 months until more funds will be available
I understand that the PCT timeline is:
- 4 months after PCT filing date, the intl search report (ISR) gets issued
- Amendments to specifications and claims can be made under Article 34 up to either (1) 3 months after the ISR is sent; or (2) 22 months from the priority date (i.e. 10 months after the PCT filing, so in my case April 1, 2019).
- That means if I have incorporated and raised funds by fall 2018, I can then work with an attorney to refine the application and strengthen specs and claims to the degree of what's there (I understand that no new content can be added).
Is that picture correct?