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Archived updates for Monday, December 20, 2004

The ProxiLaw ($329) Provisional Patent Application

ProxiLaw will prepare and file a provisional patent application for just $329 (or $529 if they also do they drawings), including
  • Preparation of provisional patent application
  • Electronic filing of the application with the U.S. Patent Office
  • Digitalization, color adjustment and compilation of technical drawings
  • Review of the answers you provide for consistency and completeness
  • The $80 filing fee is paid directly to the United States Patent Office
  • Professional Illustration
Here is their "detailed description of the process of for obtaining a provisional patent":
  1. Complete their online questionnaire including: What is the name of your invention?, What are the objectives of your invention?, How does your invention work?, Are there any different ways your invention may be structured? Are there any different ways your invention may be used?Describe the main components of your invention -- this description should include the name of each component and how each works, How do these components work together? Provide name and address information about each individual who made a significant contribution to the invention, Would you like Proxilaw to provide these required technical illustrations?, Was this invention created under contract to an agency of the U.S. government?, Have you filed an application for this patent in a foreign country?
  2. Their experienced legal document specialists will review the information that you provided for errors and completeness and then prepare your provisional patent application.
  3. Send one copy of an illustration describing the invention to us. If you'd like, a professional patent illustrator can prepare your drawing for an additional fee.
  4. Once they receive your illustration, they will file your application electronically with the United States Patent Office.
  5. Since a provisional patent filing date is effective upon filing of the application, they will send you a proof of delivery confirmation number.
    The U.S. Patent Office will issue an official approval to you directly by mail, typically within 4 to 24 weeks.

While I can't disparage a service that I have never tried, letting a machine blindly draft your patent application, or any other legal document, seems to be a bit risky. The key to the whole process appears to be the "experienced legal document specialists" who "review the informtation that you provide."

Nonetheless, this type of technology might be an excellent way to get more-detailed invention disclosure documents from inventors so that their attorneys can do better work. And, as every patent attorney knows, when the client is in a pickle, filing a thorough invention disclosure document is often better than not filing at all.

Please leave a comment if you have had any experience with these folks, or their competitiors.

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