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July 5, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

How Using a Template to Write Your Own Patent Can Get an Inventor in Trouble

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So, I mean, the internet has been a phenomenal, like, blessing in a lot of ways. But it also, I think, gives a false sense of security in people being able to do things themselves. So I think that perhaps I've seen in my practice, the fact that there's companies that have forms, where you can fill in information about your idea, and it seems like, “Oh, this is not all that difficult,” gives a false sense of security. And just because something is, can be done by you're a non professional doesn't mean it should. I often say—mentioned that I saw a book, this was years and years ago, and I wish I had taken a picture of it. It was How to Pack Your Own Parachute. And it's a long book with pictures and diagrams, and I'm sure it was well written. But that's not something I myself would be comfortable with doing from a book. I would want a professional to do it. I had a client once that had a better analogy. They said, “I can, you know, wax my own plane. But if it comes time to change the propeller, I'm going to bring it to somebody that has done it before, that's a professional.”

Yeah, exactly. It's like the one I use, it's like, you know, “Would you do your own brain surgery?” By the time you realize you've made a mistake, it's too late to fix it, and you're toast. So, you know, there's, and, you know, a lot of times inventors don't get it until, you know, they've done some of their own work and gotten slammed a couple of times. And it's like, you know, sometimes we can fix things. And sometimes we can't, you know? When they call me and say, you know, “I'm out of money, and I need help,” and it's like, “I'm sorry,” you know, there's certain things that need to be put in place. And, and I don't fund it, all right? I can help get to the next step. But like going to a show, you know, the National Hardware Show, everybody helps pay a piece of that. So we take you know, the first 25 inventors who call us and say, you know, “Hey, I want to go as part of your team.” And then everybody pays a smaller piece than they would alone. But now they've got a team behind them.

But I'll get inventors that you know, it's like, “Well, I did my own patent.” We had a gentleman years ago, and he filed his own patent. And it was a product—the idea was very interesting. But by the time, you know, it was issued, and by the time he realized that it was so narrow, which is the mistake an inventor often makes when they do their own—is they don't know how to bump up against the other intellectual property that's out there. They write—they see what it is, they write what it is, and it's too narrow. They don't understand the artistry to it. And you know, then they used his original filing against him when he tried to file again. I was like, “But the original one is mine” and it's considered prior art. So, you know, don't do that. He would have been better off just biting the bullet and having a registered patent attorney do the first one.

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At the law offices of John Rizvi, P.A. - The Idea Attorneys®, we have dedicated our practice exclusively to securing and preserving the intellectual property rights of our clients, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, and franchising matters.
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