Whether you are preparing a patent application or defending a patent, the integration of automation in the patent process can be crucial to your success. If you are not using a computerized system to handle your patents, then you are missing out on a number of opportunities for cost savings, and a more efficient process overall.

Office actions from patent examiners

Using an automated patent office documentation system can be a great way to save time and energy when responding to an office action from a USPTO examiner. The system can be coupled to a variety of sources of public information. For example, the USPTO Patent and Trademark Office (PAIR) system is one of the more prominent sites for conducting online patent research.

An automated patent office documentation system can also be implemented in general purpose computers. For example, the system can be based on a crawler that checks file histories of serial numbers. Some embodiments also incorporate the ability to analyze electronic content, user input, and other reference materials.

The system can also include the ability to search for the right office action. For instance, a user may want to perform a search for Office Actions issued by a particular Examiner in similar prior art. This can be done by selecting the search parameters displayed on the user interface.

A ranked list is also shown. The list may be scrolled by using a thumb 561. Each box is accompanied by a summary of the office action. In addition, the box can be resized to allow the user to view the full text of the office action.

A final office action is also shown. This is typically an action that is overcome or a newer office action that is placed higher in the cue to update checking. The box is also accompanied by a hyperlink that can be used for a variety of purposes.

The system may also display statistics derived from a collection of prosecution history documents. For example, the pop-up box will show a dated listing of documents that are in the file history. This is a good way to identify attorneys with a lot of cases with the given Examiner.

Patent prosecution strategies can be automated

Whether a practitioner is a new patent prosecutor or an experienced litigator, the patent prosecution process requires a proactive approach. This means monitoring each patent application and actively searching for updates. The volume of applications makes this task difficult. The USPTO provides online resources for practitioners.

Preparing written responses to Patent Office rejections is time-consuming and expensive. Traditionally, this work was handled by paralegals, patent secretaries, or patent attorneys.

However, the use of automation has come a long way in a short amount of time. This is due in part to advancements in machine learning and big data. These advances have led to predictive analytics for patent prosecution.

For instance, LexisNexis(r) PatentAdvisor(tm) provides an analysis of statistical patterns for assigned examiners and recommendations for prosecution strategies. This allows a user to get tailored advice on how to best prosecute a particular patent.

Another tool, ClaimMaster, can automatically generate document sections based on specific criteria. For example, it can check documents for inconsistent part numbers, lack of specification support, and missing antecedent bases. It also can check documents for status indicators, such as missing or incongruous antecedent bases or missing antecedent basis information.

The use of AI-based automated search tools can provide innovators with access to existing prior art. This can help avoid obviousness rejections. It can also validate concepts at the ideation stage, which can greatly reduce the turnaround time of a patent prosecution.

In addition, analyzing the prosecution history of an invention can help an innovator find innovative areas of invention. This can be accomplished with manual searches or with AI-based automated searches. The latter will provide a more accurate and comprehensive search.

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Costs associated with securing patent protection for a robotics invention

Whether you are an early stage start-up or an established robotics company, securing patent protection for a robotics invention can be important. Having a robust intellectual property strategy helps drive capital investment, market share and strategic collaborations. However, the costs of securing patent protection vary greatly.

The cost to file a high quality patent application will vary depending on the level of complexity of the invention and the type of patent application chosen. For example, a software-related invention could cost anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000. Similarly, a relatively simple invention could cost from $1,500 to $1,750. Typical costs to respond to rejections can range from $3,500 to $4,500.

A non-provisional patent application can cost between $900 and $15,000, including fees for examination and legal fees. A non-provisional patent grant can take two to three years to receive, although most jurisdictions operate on a first to file basis.

The total cost of securing patent protection for a robotics innovation can be between $10,000 and $25,000. This range covers the cost of drafting a high quality patent application, responding to rejections, and maintaining the patent application over time.

Inventors should seek professional help for drafting and submitting a robotics patent application. An expert with a background in computer science or systems engineering can provide invaluable assistance in this process.

When deciding on the right scope of patent protection, consider the value of the invention and the end product it is intended for. For instance, a design patent can protect the unique appearance of a robotic product.

In addition to securing patent protection for a robotics idea, companies also need to ensure that their technology is not infringed. Misappropriation of technology can result in significant business harm.