Back in May 2002, a Mr. Isaac Shachar filed a patent application for a shielding system for sealing windows and doors against non-conventional weapons. So far so good.
Mr. Shachar doesn’t believe in using licensed Israel Patent Attorneys. Instead, he wrote and prosecuted the patent himself. The claims were rather broad, and, at least in the more recent ammended versions, included a number of what, can best be described as double glazing or shuttering solutions, where a frame and shutter of various material options were added to shield windows or doorways from attack.
After numerous Office Actions and responses went back and forth between the applicant and three separate examiners, including then Chief Examiner Lasry, the much amended application was refused as lacking inventive step over a number of prior art patents.
Rather than addressing the citations, the applicant preferred to ignore them and went on to file an appeal and attend a hearing before Noach Shalev Shmulovich, the Deputy Commissioner of Patents.
Shmulovich also chose to reject the patent application. We now wait to see if the Applicant decides to appeal to the Israeli courts.
The moral of the story is to use professional representation. For not much more than the filing fee, a consultation and prior art search by a competent professional could have knocked out the invention, saving the inventor much time and aggravation. Just as importantly, it would certainly have conserved valuable resources at the Israel Patent Office.
I think the idea of do-it-yourself patenting is patently stupid, and of the many inventors that I’ve come across who have tried, only about 5% had any idea. Most, including some very bright university lecturers and entrepeneurs, caused themselves no end of problems. Like brain surgery, plumbing and other skills, is best left to the experts.
Still, if you are looking for one easy to read guide, I recommend Patent It Yourself, available from Nolo Press. It is worth reading by anyone contemplating saving on prefessional representation.
If the idea is worth patenting at all, it is worth doing right.