Does Patent Office Snub Inventors Who File Without Attorney?

As reported by Inventors Digest, the independent inventor community is an industrious American subculture that has produced everything from the Segway to Snuggies.

Yet according to a recent study by Auburn University business professor Paul Swamidass, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office can be hostile to those who file patent applications pro se, that is, without an attorney.

Officials at the USPTO have seen his study. In fact, an official at the USPTO alerted us of its existence. A former patent examiner told Inventors Digest that while some examiners enjoy working with inventors, most “grit their teeth when they see a pro se application hit their desk” because those applications typically are so poorly written.

To be sure, patent applications are complex. “People can’t write their own house-closing contracts or divorce papers,” the former examiner said, who works with the USPTO and didn’t want his name used. “It’s a real art. I wish it were different. It’s never going to be uncomplicated.”

Photo by USPTO.

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