Many online websites provide assistance in filing a provisional patent application at a low price. Based on my understanding of these online sites, the website prompts the user with a series of questions. Your answers are placed into a patent application format and filed with the Patent Office. However, no legal advice is provided.
In my experience, each person’s situation is different which may require the client to address other issues even before a patent application is filed. For example, ownership issues may have to be addressed prior to filing a patent application. Infringement may be another issue that the client may want to address before filing a patent application. These are some of the issues that may require attention prior to expending the time and money in filing a patent application. Online websites may provide legal information in the form of helpful tips. Unfortunately, these online sites do not provide legal advice on these or any other issues. They do not listen to your situation and cannot provide a recommended course of action based on your particular situation.
Additionally, these online websites do not provide legal advice on how to draft a patent application. Your answers are merely placed in the format of a patent application without any modification or addition. The online websites may provide helpful tips or you may even have a book on how to draft a patent application. However, unless you learn under the guidance and instruction of a competent patent attorney, your patent drafting skills will not significantly improve the quality of your patent application. Patent attorneys do not answer a series of questions in preparing a patent application. Competent patent attorneys have a basic approach to drafting a patent application that they have developed over the course of many years with the help of a more seasoned patent attorney.
As such, seek the advice of a competent patent attorney to determine whether there are any issues that need to be addressed prior to filing a patent application. Also, retain competent patent attorney in preparing and filing your patent application.