Request a patent clarity session ($250 consultation)

The patent clarity session is a one-hour, confidential and no-obligation initial consultation with registered US and Canadian patent agent Andrew T. MacMillan. The clarity session can be held either in-person at ATMAC's office or via phone.

The goal of the clarity session is to help you understand your options for patenting and to make sure you have a realistic plan for making a profit. We’ll discuss your invention in as much detail as you are comfortable providing, and we’ll let you know different patent filing strategies and options for your situation along with their associated costs. The clarity session is designed to give you dedicated time with an experienced patent agent to help you decide how best to protect your invention.

Due to time limitations, we cannot accept clarity sessions with every person who applies. However, all requests will be reviewed and you will receive feedback, usually within three business days. If you qualify, we will send you a confidentiality agreement and an invention disclosure form for you to fill out in as much detail as you are willing prior to scheduling the session date and time. If you don't qualify, we will let you know why.

To get started, please fill out the below request form.

Agent-client relationship not created
Requesting and/or having a patent clarity session does not create any relationship of agency, partnership, joint venture, or any other relationship. We will keep your invention confidential but we are not in an agent-client relationship.

Invention information

1. Technical field(s) to which your invention is related?
Select all that apply:


2. Without giving away any confidential details, please provide a one sentence description of your invention:
* Embedded computer software and hardware related to laser jet printers.
* A physical tool that is used by gardeners.
* An improvement to remote control airplanes and drones.
* A solution to a problem that chefs often encounter even though they don't realize it.
* An electronic system that improves safety within a factory.
* A mobile phone app and related system that helps people find lost items.
* A method of connecting electrical components to a circuit board without using solder.
* An electronic device that helps patients with spinal cord injuries get better mobility.

3. Why do you want to patent this invention?
Many people are ultimately planning to make money from a patent. Assuming that is the case for you too, please tell me a little about how you plan to make a profit with the patent. Some typical ways include protecting an idea before discussing with potential investors, defending oneself during patent litigation, collecting license fees and/or royalties, etc. If you are not sure of the various ways you can profit from a patent, I have an article listing some typical ways here. If you are trying to get a patent for a reason other than financial gain, please explain.

4. Have you done any searching to see if your invention has already been invented by someone else?
Searching is required before we can proceed. If you have not done any searching, please do so before submitting this form. Two free, keyword based online searchable patent databases are Google's worldwide patent database and the European worldwide patent database (both open in new browser windows). Keep track of what you find so we can discuss.
Select answer that best applies:

5. Are there any specific companies or type of company that you absolutely need to make sure are not already ATMAC's client before you disclose confidential details about your invention?
We need to know this to help prevent potential conflicts of interest and to make sure there are no misunderstandings. Please keep in mind that if you specify a broad or general field such as "any company that has to do with boats", ATMAC will not accept you for a no-obligation clarity session. ATMAC will only accept applicants that either have no special conflict of interest prevention requirements or that have very specific requirements such as a list of company names to avoid or very narrowly defined subject matter. Also, even if you answer "No" for this question, we will still avoid all actual and potential conflicts of interest between different clients according to our professional obligations.

6. Is development of your invention generally finished?
Select answer that best applies:

7. Have you built a working prototype?
Building a prototype is not necessary for the patent process but can be very helpful. In the process of building a prototype you can discover and solve many problems that you may not have thought of if you had not attempted building the prototype.
Select answer that best applies:

8. Do you have any experience with patenting?

9. What major concerns do you have related to the patent process?
Feel free to list questions and concerns that are causing you anxiety about the patent process. If you have already been involved with patents in the past, you may want to list problems you had with your previous experiences and/or service providers.

10. Assuming it’s possible, are you ready to begin the patenting process now?

Help is only an email away.

If you have any questions about requesting a clarity session, please send a message on our contact form.


Banff National Park: Moraine Lake in June, Canada
Photo by Redeo 
Used under CC BY, cropped from original