Patent applications--what are they really like?

by Andy Oram

I'm looking for people who have filed patents--not just in computing, but any field. I'd like to talk to them about some aspects of preparing the patent application.

A huge amount of public discussion has gone on about how patent offics approve patents, and how they're litigated later. But why don't we go to the start of the process? Let's examine what inventors think about after they realize they have something patentable, and what they do to prepare the application.

I'd like to ask these people:

  • How do you determine that something is patentable (that it's useful, novel, and not obvious)?
  • How do you go about searching for prior art?
  • How do you decide how much to invest in preparing the application, and how do you decide that submitting a patent application is worthwhile?
Although I know the U.S. patent process a little better than others, and will probably concentrate on the U.S., I'm interested in stories from other countries too.

People with stories to tell can contact me by sending email to andyo at domain


Jean-Paul McCoy
2007-05-03 01:38:10
I am in the process of pursuing several patents and am curious what information you get from your inquiry.

I would recommend "Patent it Yourself", I'll look up the SBN if you contact me. That is where I learned quite a bit.

I also have a couple associates with patents, both company and personal.

I encourage you to contact me.

Jean-Paul McCoy
(408) 660-0590