Some attorneys charge lower fees to well-organised clients because it means less work for them.

The questions below will help you gather your thoughts about your invention and how you plan to use it so you will be well prepared for your meeting. Being able to supply this information in written form can also help.

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Information on your invention

Description: Your attorney will want to know how your invention works and which problem you are trying to address. They will want to know how it differs from what else is out there.

Diagram: Bring along any sketches, plans and CAD drawings you have developed.

Model: Bring these along as they can help your attorney understand your product.

What else is out there?

Search: Do a search before you come in and bring the results with you. Even if you’re not sure if they’re relevant, show them to your attorney who can make a judgment.

Disclosure: If you have disclosed your invention to other people in any way, you should also bring this information – such as the date of disclosure, the information you disclosed, and where, such as pitching the idea to venture capitalists, publishing it in an industry journal or advertising it for sale.

Your business

Your business plan: Your business plan will help your attorney understand you market strategy and guide the patent process. At the very least, you should have an idea of the process you will follow to turn your invention into a commercial product, such as development, manufacturing, marketing and where you intend to sell it. Your attorney will want to know how you plan to make money from your invention, because this will help determine your patent strategy.