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Patent It Yourself: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Filing at the U.S. Patent Office Paperback – August 31, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1413317190 ISBN-10: 1413317197 Edition: Sixteenth Edition

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Frequently Bought Together

Patent It Yourself: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Filing at the U.S. Patent Office + How to Make Patent Drawings: A Patent It Yourself Companion + Patent Searching Made Easy: How to do Patent Searches on the Internet and in the Library
Price for all three: $81.17

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Product Details

  • Series: Patent It Yourself
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; Sixteenth Edition edition (August 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413317197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413317190
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


""Patenting an idea can be really expensive and intimidating. When I was starting out, I read this terrific book called Patent It Yourself, by a lawyer named David Pressman. It was really straightforward. Using that book, I wrote GoPro’s first patent myself. It was this 60-page tome that I went maniacal on. When I took it to the attorneys to get their opinion and to see how much it would cost for them to finalize it, they told me I’d just saved myself a lot of money—I’d basically done the whole thing myself. More important, the book gave me a good understanding of what’s patentable and what’s not. For any entrepreneur who’s inventing something, it’s the one book you should read."" Bloomberg Business Week - Ask a Billionaire: GoPro's Nick Woodman on the Book 'Patent It Yourself'

""If you want to cut through the patent red tape and possibly save thousands of dollars, Patent It Yourself... has all the forms and instructions needed to patent a product in the United States.""  The Washington Post

""For some thirty years Patent It Yourself has covered basics of getting a patent and become the 'go to' reference of choice for inventors: here patent attorney Pressman updates his volume with the latest laws, forms, and instructions geared to preparing a patent application, evaluating a product's commercial appeal, handling infringers, and protecting rights at home and abroad. Chapters are packed with forms and the latest legal advice and represent some forty years of the author's experiences as a patent attorney. Any general legal reference collection will find this a timely, popular pick! "" The Midwest Book Review


More About the Author

I wrote Patent It Yourself because, some years ago, I saw many good how-to legal books on divorce, forming a corporation, etc. but none on getting a patent. Like other Nolo authors, I felt that law should not be a mystery to laypersons and that most people should be given the tools and instructions to do most legal tasks themselves if they want or can't afford a lawyer. So I wrote Patent It Yourself to share my knowledge, dispel the mystery of patents, and provide a good guide for inventors. A member of the California and Patent and Trademark Office bars, I have had over 45 years' experience in the patent profession, as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent Office, a patent attorney for Philco-Ford Corp., Elco Corp., and Varian Associates, as a columnist for EDN Magazine and, and as an instructor in intellectual property at San Francisco State University. In the World Book Encyclopedia I wrote the Patent, Trademark and Copyright entries. While not a successful inventor, I have two patents issued. I spend most of my time writing, but I also dabble in electronics, programming, inventing, an playing the trumpet. While I practice as a patent lawyer in San Francisco, I'm originally from Philadelphia. My undergraduate major was Electrical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University and I went to law school at the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University, where I was on the Law Review and received a Juris Doctor degree. An afficionado of words and their meaning and effects, I am a student of general semantics, but I also am very interested in health and vegetarianism. My mother, Mildred Phillips, was also a writer, having composed lyrics for numerous published songs, including Bill Haley's "Mambo Rock."

Customer Reviews

NOLO is very good about keeping the book updated with current information.
Amazon Customer
It is everything you need....except the incredible amount of time it will take....which of why patent attorneys cost so much money.
Jim Ha
This is a very well written book and explains it all, and in a very clear language.
Benjamin Kent

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By RG69 VINE VOICE on September 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A really hefty book clocking in at more than 600 pages this covers just about anything you can think of in regards to getting a patent. It covers the following:
. determine if you can patent your invention
. understand patent law
. evaluate the commercial potential of your idea
. perform your own patent search
. file a provisional patent application
. prepare a formal patent application
. respond to patent examiners
. amend an application
. enforce and maintain your patent
. market and license your invention

The book is a new updated version and is very thorough and well laid out. The problem with this kind of book is that you need to buy the updates since the laws change so often with concern to intellectual property and such. So if you are ready to get a patent now, then pick up the book it will help you tremendously. If you are still some time away, then wait until you really need it because there could be changes in law from one year to the next.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Wendy & Jeff S TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've often heard good things about Nolo Press books, but this is the first one I've had and I'm blown away by its comprehensiveness. It's essentially a ream of paper containing everything from Patent 101 (the types of patents) to applying, documenting, enforcing your intellectual property.

It's very up to date - discussing the new patent laws put in place in fall of 2011, some of which kicked in just weeks ago.

It's written in a fairly casual, easy to read style, but you have to be focused - it's not a Dummies' book filled with cartoon figures and lots of white space and clip art. It's more of a textbook, albeit one with numerous diagrams, examples, flowcharts, and samples of all the forms related to your patent pursuit. The author is encouraging, but also honest, explaining how it is not likely that a patent is a road to quick riches.

I particularly enjoyed the information related to internet Domain names, and computer software. I like how the author honestly explains the differences between patents and copyrights - the latter of which are quicker, easier to get, and longer-lived but do not always provide as broad of a scope.

Some other interesting things I learned: I had never realized that (in most cases) you can't document your invention with photographs. At a minimum, you have to scan and trace a photo such that it appears more like a diagram from a draftsman. And one of the introductory items that struck a chord with me was understanding that the term "patent protection" is not really accurate. A patent is purely an offensive mechanism for going after infringers, but it offers no "protection" unto itself. He refers to this as "offensive rights".
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. L Strickland VINE VOICE on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book will be invaluable whether you use an attorney for your patent or not. My experience is that even if you are working with an attorney, you are going to have to guide him and it will be extremely helpful for you to understand the process.

If you have not gone through the process, this will take a lot of study, though. However, the book is very thorough so it has everything in it you need to be successful. Remember, you are saving a LOT of money, so your payback will be quite substantial. One reviewer wrote that his attorney told him it would cost $5,000 to file for a patent. From what I have seen, that is a low estimate. The cost will go up very time the patent office comes back with objections or questions plus it is dependent on a relatively straight forward patent search. Also, if your patent is at all complicated to write, it will cost more. I am a co-inventor on a patent that cost my company $80,000 to get granted, but it was a pretty complicated patent. Later, we modified the patent to incorporate some new ideas and added to the bill.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind as you go through the book:

Get the full text of some patents that are in the same category and of a similar complexity to yours and study them to see how they are written. There is a style of writing a patent that you need to follow. Some legalese, and a particular method of describing the invention. You can get these texts free off of the Internet now.

One aspect of the writing style that seems unnecessary to many people is the way the the "embodiment" is described multiple times with slight variations in it each time. The idea is to think of as many ways to implement the same idea as possible and include them in the description.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By DJY51 VINE VOICE on April 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have a patent, and applied for another both times using an attorney. I was curious about what it would take for me to file on my own to save thousands of dollars. This book made it quite evident to me that although I could do it myself, it would be extraordinarily complicated, and if I made a mistake, I could jeopardize getting a well deserved patent. So I decided, after reading this tome,that I'd leave my filings to experts. That said, if you're very tenacious, and can't afford to hire a patent attorney, this book could be your just what you need.
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