Can I patent something by myself or do I have to consult an expert?
The regulations allow each inventor to file his own patent application by preparing all the documentation unaided, without the necessity of going to an expert, and the patent that will be granted will be legally valid. However, who does this by himself often risks making mistakes, even if in good faith, as lacking in competence and experience on the subject.
The most frequent error is describing in details the invention, and then forgetting to formulate the “claims” which are the essential part of the patent. It is for this reason that 90% of the patents granted to privates who followed the files by themselves, even if they are theoretically valid, cannot be defended in a possible violation act. It is complicated to understand, but unfortunately having obtained a patent does not always mean that it could be effectively defended and there are different reasons for this.
Firstly, the Italian Patents and Trademarks Office does not make a search for novelty, therefore it could be granting a patent for some item which already exists; secondly, patents are also granted for objects which are badly described or summarized, but if the novelty aspect is not properly specified, it will be very difficult afterwards to claim towards anyone copying us. The help of an expert, even though not necessary, is important for this. By consulting the expert in the subject we can be assured that the documentation will be prepared at the very best and there will be less risk for the future.
But this dos not mean that the patent granted to those who have not gone to a professional, is worthless: if well prepared, sufficiently described and the claims properly written, that patent will have the same value as the one presented through a specialized office.