Go Beau - Pursuing Your First Patent
By Beau Horner, Associate Project Manager
Patents have been a big part of my life for the past six years. I have always had a creative mind and I love reverse engineering things in an effort to make them better. This is what drew me into patent law in the first place. But one day, I realized that I was pretty jealous of all of the inventors’ ideas that I had been drafting into patent application. At that moment I decided to take the plunge myself – I would be a named inventor too!
I filed my first provisional application on my idea in 2016, which started my magical one-year clock toward filing a nonprovisional application. I had a whole year so of course that’s plenty of time and of course I wouldn’t wait until the last minute to draft my non-provisional.
NOPE… of course I waited until the last minute because… you know, I work well under pressure, I was too busy ALL YEAR, etc. Point is, I was in Las Vegas during my one-year anniversary of filing my provisional application and the whole day before I was debating going full bore on the nonprovisional. I said yes and pulled the trigger while on the plane to Vegas, worked then until one in the morning, and on the day, it was due, worked from 5 A.M. up until half an hour before it was due.
All in all, it was quite a grueling experience. I had my girlfriend, who is an architect, assist me with the drawings, numbering in the specification, and some paperwork (shout out to Nadia, because I definitely could not have gotten it done without her).
Lesson for a Practicing Professional:
1) Don’t wait until the last minute – you will miss some things and you chance missing the actual deadline too. I filled out one too many boxes on a filing document and blew my chance at expedited filing…
2) Plan a celebration around the filing – I was lucky enough to be in Las Vegas with friends and that made the last-minute effort fun, but patents are hard work and a well-earned milestone; so, celebrate at each stage.
3) Plan on having help – whether a patent attorney, patent agent or your technical friends to offer extra eyes and editorial to ensure the highest chance of patent issuing.
All in all, it was definitely a great learning experience that I hope can help other individuals in situations similar to mine. And if you are curious, my application has published as US20180000177 in case you’d like to review it (feedback welcome).
I will keep you up to date on my continued progress over the coming months as I work through the process with the USPTO. Wish me luck.