Patent and Invention Help Forum

Big Thanks to Brad and Steven at

Big Thanks to Brad and Steven at
« on: May 25, 2017, 04:55:31 PM »
I'd like to give Brad an internet High Five and thank him for the FREE guidance and advice available here.

I received my OFFICIAL LETTER Of PROVISIONAL PATENT and Gilded Certificate suitable for framing from the USPTO.

OK, that may be an exaggeration.  It's a pretty bland 3 page letter with lots of legal speak and language meant to confuse and confound mere mortals.  But it's MY 3 page bland letter full of legal speak.

A few tips for those ready to tread these deep and mysterious places run by bureaucrats in dark and musty offices.

Double check everything.

My first attempt on online application included me attaching a blank PTO/SB/15A (Certification of Micro Entity Status), instead of the filled PDF.  Keep your blank and filled forms separate. Murphy thrives in paperwork, and his laws are absolute.  If there is a possibility of error, errors will happen.

This caused a Notice To File Missing Parts Of Provisional Application.  OK, fine.  They sent 2 copies of the letter with instructions to return one copy with the missing paperwork.  Seemed simple enough.  So I just printed out a new properly filled copy of PTO/SB/15A, stapled it with the copy of the Notice letter, stuffed an envelope and affixed TWO stamps (can't be too careful, error tend to compound themselves when nobody is looking).  Off to the Post Office, and done.

Oops, not so fast.

I receive yet another letter, Notice of Incomplete Reply.  What??  What was incomplete?  In this letter, I get informed of a $15 surcharge for late filing fee.  Double check previous letter and nope, not mentioned.

The actual Notice had a list (in bullet points) or the missing parts.  First was the" Surcharge as set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(g) was not received."   The second was asking for a "Provisional Application Cover Sheet under 37 CFR 1.51(c)(1) which may be an Application Data Sheet (37 CFR 1.76).  Going back to the original online application, I'm positive I filled something similar out.  No problem, again.  I'll just find the appropriate form online and send it in.

Moment of confusion time.  Trying to find forms on the USPTO site is not for the faint of heart.  But after a hearty cup of coffee, success!  I will give whoever designed the PDF for this one props.  If any required information is left blank, it will let you know.  Since this is an 8 page form, and not all entries may apply to you, this is above and beyond for a Government Agency.

For the sake of thoroughness, I printed the Application Data Sheet, Made a copy of the Notice of Incomplete Reply, included another copy of the Certification of Micro Entity Status, and with my best handwriting, penned a check for Fifteen Dollars and 00 Cents.  And back to the Post Office.

The entire process gave me a new found appreciation for (certain) lawyers, and a deeper mistrust of that guy named Murphy.  All of the above could have been avoided by simply double checking that the proper forms were initially sent as attachments.

Now as to the actual Patent Application.  6 pages, and 4 illustrations.  I worried and fussed over every single word and punctuation mark.  I double checked spelling.  I tried to think of every unknown known and known unknown.  The illustrations were done with Adobe Fusion, a free 3D rendering package.  So doing everything yourself on the cheap is possible. I made sure that descriptions matched Illustrations.  As for the actual item being Patented?  Well, now the fun part starts.  Deciding on how/where/who to market it with, and getting them to understand how much money it will make them.  But all in all, the help available here got me this far, so future millionaire or not, many thanks.

One last bit of advice - Check Your Forms Before Hitting Send!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2024, 08:29:29 AM by Brad »


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Re: Big Thanks to Brad
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 08:29:06 PM »
Great advice.  Thanks for sharing.

The good news is that 95% of all mistakes can still be corrected with the patent office (sometimes you have to pay a fee).  The biggest mistakes that cannot be corrected are forgetting to include important details about your invention or forgetting to upload a figure (or multiple figures).    If you make a mistake like that you are not allowed to go back and try to add it later.

My free patent template:

Hire Me:

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.


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