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Paper vs. Electronic Patent Filing

Electronic patent filing provides convenience, like everything else related to internet - e-shopping. e-community services, e-life... So, what is the best way to file patent applications and in general, what options exist for national, PCT and EP filing?

Expanded patent agencies or companies, filing tens or hundreds of applications every day prefer paper filing. The reasons are quite easy to understand - filling in electronic forms is time consuming compared to automatic document generation using patent information database software.

But what is most appropriate for budgetary idea protection, which is often sought by individual inventors?

Prerequisites for patent filing

As mentioned before, patent application filing in most cases is the best way for idea protection. It can be done by professional representatives (patent attorney or patent lawyer) or by the inventor himself/herself. The most important information, which has to be collected before filing is:

  • Applicant details. Mandatory. In other words, the details of the owner of the patent: name, address, contact details; in case of US patent applications, only inventors are allowed to be named as applicants, nevertheless after filing, it can be changed to a legal entity;
  • Inventors details. This field is mandatory as well, because it is essential that inventors are indicated: name, address;
  • Representative. This field is left empty in case the patentee is filing the application by oneself;
  • Patent classification. It is very important to indicate the classification correctly, although sometimes it is hard to determine it; the patent classification is searched either in international patent classification or European patent classification, respectively, what kind of application is to be filed.
  • Patent abstract. This is usually not the part of  patent specification, therefore it should be filled in a separate field;
  • Patent specification. This corresponds to all patent description except claims;
  • Patent claims. No comment is needed here;
  • Patent drawings. Based on the type of application (PCT, EP, national), there are certain requirements for drawings, i.e. file formats, sizes, encoding, etc. As a rule-of-thumb, the pictures have to be encoded in 1 bit black and white.

Online patent application filing is usually a 20-40 minute process. Payment of application fee has to be done in advance or during the submission process. For more complex filing procedures as those of PCT or EP patents, there is a step of fee calculation, which gives and opportunity to double  check the fees involved.

Basically that is all important information related to patent application filing, whether there are some aspects uncovered, please use the reply form to ask. If you need our services, don;t hesitate to contact us.

Good luck with your Idea Protection!