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Common mistakes pro se patent filers make

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2021 | Intellectual Property

Sometimes you know something is going to be a great idea. When you come up with the plans for your patent, it can come with a strong sense of independence.

For some, the confidence that comes with creating a new product idea can make filing your own patent application seem like a good idea.

Here’s what you should know about filing your patent application yourself.

What does it mean to file pro se?

When you file “pro se,” it means you are filing your patent application without the help of an attorney. While you are not required to have a lawyer help you with your application, some risks come with being a pro se filer.

What’s the worst that could happen?

The challenge with filing your own patent application is that you do not have an experienced professional to check your paperwork and ensure you include the correct information at the appropriate time. Often, pro se filers forget things, such as:

  • Drawings (or they do not contain enough drawings)
  • Grammar checks (which can lead to misunderstanding and rejection)
  • Deadlines and timelines

In most cases, the patent office allows applicants to fix issues with their applications. However, when pro se applicants face these hurdles, they tend to abandon their application rather than follow the prescribed resolution. In a 2012 study, 76% of pro se applicants (compared to 35% of applicants who had representation) abandoned their application.

In many cases, having the support of a trained professional to guide you through the process can significantly impact the completion of your application.