Should Inventors Be Searching For The Cheapest Way To Obtain A Patent?
As a first time inventor and someone who is new to the world of patents, you have just completed what is possibly the most significant contribution you may ever be able to offer the world during your lifetime.
If you're here, you are further than most get in the invention process.
Realizing and giving life to your idea has taken a lot of time and and probably a good chunk of change thus far.
Now you've got all of this specific information and deep research that makes your invention unique and relevant; the perfect image is stored in your brain.
Having ideated and fleshed out a solid product, you are ready to explore the process of filing for a patent.
Like many, you may be looking for the best bargain in filing and being granted a patent. You may be looking for something that fits into the shoestring budget you still have after you've prototyped, researched, etc.
After all, a patent is a patent, and the less expensively it is done the more cash you have left in reserve to market your product and set up production.
So you do what all inquisitive people do. You search Google:
If this thought train even describes a wink of a wave that went through your head, read on...
Picking One Out From The Lineup
If you're prodding Google or another search engine to help you get a low cost patent you'll probably run into a bunch of the usual suspects.
Not every cheap patent is the same, so here's the roundup of what you'll likely find:
"The Flash Patent"
The instant gratification winner has to be the result which reads “patent today and sell tomorrow!"
Now that would certainly have some real merit...so you can skip a background patent search, throw the life savings into production sometime during that first day, and start selling your brand new product (which may or may not be illegal) tomorrow.
It makes you wonder if the selling starts tomorrow before or after lunch.
So you are laughing at the ridiculous example...they have two law offices and have according to their list of accomplishments spent years working for huge firms and charging high prices...now they are here to help the little “guy”.
They have certain new words which are considered “pc” - is that what they call what they are actually planning to do to the little guy?
Thank goodness they are now available with the “patent drive thru” philosophy. People can order a milkshake so when they get financially devastated for copyright infringement they will have some small shred of good memory from the experience.
Oh, and by the way, just so you recognize The Flash, they will advertise things like "Just $100 To Get Patent Pending" or "Low Cost Patents Starting At $300" or "Just $1500 For The Full Service Utility Patent"...
Here's the skinny. If you are an inventor or an entrepreneur, you've got a level of intelligence far higher than the average person. Don't let emotion cloud your smarts - always remember the key traits of being an inventor (bottom of that page), one of which is to maintain your cunning and savvy.
"The Mr. Credible Patent"
Our next smiling patent law man comes up in what appears to be the government patent office website.
Opening the website, there is an official looking seal. As a matter of fact the site is so clearly attempting to represent themselves as official, there is a disclaimer stating they are not affiliated with the US patent trademark office.
Here is a bit of a news flash, if they did not spend the entire page and even the search result trying to impersonate the patent office with a misleading name and phony looking seals, the disclaimer would not be necessary.
It may be a bit hard to trust someone after they “copped a plea” to falsely representing themselves as the government agency in charge of issuing the licensing which you seek.
It is like one of the people who is finally found to have been practicing medicine without a license asking “well, since you’re here, you may as well let me remove that gall bladder.”
"The Wonder Boy Patent"
On this one you may wonder why $149 comes up in the site description.
That is without the $65 government fee (which as you might have guessed is most often about twice that amount or more and they explain the higher government fees in tiny little print later).
Inside they explain the “basic package” is not as efficient as the next upgrade available for around $400 and the top of the line $600 version which comes with professional drawings and technical description.
You just have to love an attorney website who has little pictures that look fresh out of a children’s book to show just how easy it is to obtain a patent. What makes it even better is they are most likely not even attorneys but the testimonial is from an attorney right under the invention consultant.
Not only is Wonder Boy cheap but his services are so good they must have patent attorneys using them.
This sounds like a great choice for consistency, fake prices, fake government fee quotes, fake impression of credentials. The best part is there is no mention of the patent search anywhere, I guess that must be way back in the other part of the website called the “save your behind deluxe package.”
The List Of Hits Keeps On Rolling
Prices right from the site description on page one of the search... $100, under $65, “little money” (with under $65 quoted on the same page does that mean like $19.95 and you get a free non-stick pan.)
On the only page of the initial search there may have been more misleading statements than in a political campaign rally.
Maybe “cheap patents” was just a bad idea… how about “best patents?” This one looked like a science fiction listing of people trying to sell their patents and all types of sneaky little choices.
Tips For Survival In The Wild World Of Patents
Let's take a break from patents for just a moment and talk about key instincts for survival.
Maybe we can close our eyes for a moment and transform ourselves into great cats of the open range in Africa.
So now we are in out in the glory of the wild and our survival instinct is starting to kick in… Are we so much different than the “great predators” we found on the page of our search?
Let's examine the similarities...
Targeting the prey
*big cats hunt by water and food sources waiting for animals to eat and drink in order to survive.
*big cons create misleading ads for inventors who need to patent their invention to survive.
Choosing the victim
*big cats hunt for the younger and weaker prey because they are quick and easy meals.
*big cons lure inexperienced and less savvy patent seekers with false promises for fast cash.
Least and Best Success
*big cats are trying to find the slowest moving antelope when they are chasing them in the open.
*ambulance chasers do not need to “chase” if new patent hopefuls are running after them.
Less Is Actually Not More...Less Is Very Seldom More
Many times during a formal bidding process there seems to be a lean toward the lowest priced bid. It could be anything - a professional service, an item on a retail shelf, or a patent.
When you go the bargain route, remember this: If the person doing the work does a great job, completes the project on time and nothing actually falls apart, buy a lottery ticket immediately.
You may have just witnessed a true miracle.
If any of these “bargain basement instant patent prodigies” are able to produce what they say, you might just want to follow them around for a few days, jot down a some notes and as an inventor they might lead you to unlocking all of the mysteries of the universe.
It will be more expensive to hire a qualified professional patent attorney or expert.
In reality, the cost of losing a patent or being sued for copyright infringement is most likely going to dwarf the actual up front difference.
Paying for careless work or being lured in for bait and switch pricing practices is never pleasant. If you have spent all of the time and hard work to create something great, why dishonor the invention and risk catastrophe by cutting corners during the patent process? If doing things the safest and best way the first time are at all financially feasible, why complicate things?
When it comes to safe and smart patents, less is less.
What To Do When You're Offered A "Cheap Patent"
This is a real screen shot from a real Google search, conducted today, September 5, 2016. These predators are still out there.
See that little asterisk (*)?
That little snowflake can be loaded. But now you know that.
When you see "cheap" or "bargain" or "discount" or another synonym attached to the word patent, run for the hills.
You've invested too much to even play a risky game.