The Effects of Efficient Patent Drafting
Having an efficient patent drafting practice can have a huge impact on the value of your patent, the time it takes to prosecute it, and the amount of rejections you get from the USPTO. This article will explain how a good practice can help you to reduce these costs, and increase the chances of getting a strong patent.
Getting a patent approved is an expensive process. Aside from paying for a well-researched patent application, you also have to contend with the threat of willful infringement. The best way to protect your intellectual property is to keep your competition at bay with a solid patent defense. You can do this by filing a strong patent application and utilizing an efficient patent drafting strategy.
In this day and age, a patent application should contain the following: a claim list, an abstract, and a detailed description of the invention. The PTO employs a number of classification schemes to organize your ideas into manageable chunks. This includes categories like medical, industrial, and chemical.
The most important component to an effective patent drafting scheme is determining which category your invention fits into. This is a crucial step for any patent application, because it determines how many years you will receive patent protection. You can avoid the high cost of re-filing your patent by refiling it only once or twice.
In the United States, a patent application must be published in at least one jurisdiction within 18 months of filing. This is the most cost-effective way to ensure that you get the attention of a potential infringer. Having a patent announcing your latest invention in print can also help you keep a lid on your competitors.
There are many other ways to go about it. For instance, there are a number of companies that advise employees not to read a patent, citing the risk of willful infringement as their main concern. Aside from the obvious reason that it would make your employees nervous, reading a patent would also put them on the radar of a possible infringer.
Increase in years spent in prosecution
Despite recent experiences with patent system reform, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether changes to the patent system would be a good idea. Some believe that abolishing continuation applications would reduce abuse, while others believe that continuing them is necessary to provide a third chance.
There are two main problems with abolishing continuation applications. First, the process would be a lot more complicated than other types of prosecution. Second, it would increase the importance of getting it right at the beginning.
There are a number of reasons why continuations are filed, including waiting out an examiner who quits, wanting to allow claims to issue, or wanting to claim broader claims in later patents. These reasons may or may not outweigh the potential for mischief.
Nevertheless, there is no question that continuation practice has led to abuse of the patent prosecution process. As a result, Congress has created a number of patent doctrines to combat abuse of continuations.
One of these is the doctrine of estoppel, which imposes limits on the scope of a patent based on a patentee’s prior prosecution history. The Federal Circuit ruled in Johnson & Johnston Associates, Inc. v. R.E. Service Co. in 2002 that this doctrine should apply to patents pending for six years or more.
Another pernicious consequence of continued prosecution is the potential for the use of continuation applications as a means to provoke interferences with other pending applications. Currently, the PTO does not have the power to stop prosecution.
However, if there is a strong case for a change, courts could strengthen the existing rules to preserve practice. In addition to eliminating continuations, there are a number of other steps that can be taken to reduce abuse.
Increase in value of a patent
Obtaining a patent is a top priority for most companies, especially in the petrochemical industry. The most common types of patents are monopoly patents, monopoly trademarks, and patents in the public domain. The largest hive of patent applications is the US, where a total of 68,386 patents have been issued to date. The value of a patent depends on the type of product being protected, but is also influenced by the quality of the underlying technology. This is a subject of interest to researchers in a variety of fields, from physicists to economists. A study by researchers at the University of Chicago revealed that the value of a patent could be as high as $1.7 billion. Getting the right type of patent could make or break a company. The best way to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck is to hire a firm that specializes in patent law. It is also possible to improve the odds of securing an appropriate patent by negotiating with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) on your behalf. Fortunately, there are a number of firms that specialize in patents, and a single contact can help you secure the best patents for your business.
The best part of all is that you will be able to choose from a smorgasbord of patents. In fact, a study of nearly 300 firms revealed that more than half of the companies they surveyed are entrusting their intellectual property to the hands of a team of professionals. This is a good thing, but it comes at a cost. The costs of litigation are steep, especially for patents, and it can be difficult to find a reputable patent attorney.
High turnover of examiners at the USPTO
Despite the fact that the patent prosecution process is designed to protect the public, continuation applications have created a significant problem. This is particularly true for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, which are the most likely industries to file submarine patents.
Continuation applications give the applicant the option to rewrite claims and file a new application. This allows the applicant to get a second chance to convince the examiner. However, this also provides the applicant with dubious ownership rights. Moreover, continuation applications can be filed ad infinitum, meaning that there is no limit to the number of continuations that can be filed.
Continuation applications have been abused, but they are not as widespread as some critics suggest. In a recent study, Professor Moore of UC Irvine’s School of Law presented an empirical analysis in federal district court litigation. He also provided an accompanying text.
The study found that the mean time spent by an examiner on a patent application is eighteen hours. The length of time an examiner spends on an application is largely dependent on the complexity of the technology. The PTO’s examiner turnover is high.
The USPTO’s patent examiners are technically trained. They have to perform a thorough search of the prior art and evaluate the patent claims against the prior art. The PTO’s workload is heavy, especially during peak periods. If the examiner is faced with an exceptionally heavy caseload, he may have little incentive to work on difficult cases.
There are many reasons why an examiner would reject an applicant’s patent claims. The primary reason is that the applicant failed to disclose the inventions. But there are other reasons as well. The applicant may have drafted the claims poorly in the first place, or he may have sought additional claims.
Rejections of USPTO patent examiners
Continuation applications allow a patentee to argue for more claims and wear down the examiner. However, if the examiner decides not to grant the claim, the applicant has other options.
If an examiner decides to issue a “Final Rejection,” the applicant has the right to request an interview with the examiner. If the interview takes place, the examiner will review the applicant’s response to the application, and then make a final decision on the patent claims.
The Patent Office does not have access to the prior art in some areas, and therefore cannot always analyze it properly. In addition, the PTO does not have the time to conduct a thorough search of the prior art.
The USPTO has a system of internal appeals, allowing applicants to go before the Board of Patent Appeals if they feel they have been unfairly denied a patent. This process is safer than the continuation procedure, which allows applicants to go to the PTO and file a new application.
If the applicant is able to persuade the examiner to grant the application, the PTO usually awards the application to the applicant. If the examiner refuses, the applicant can file a “Continuation Application” that can be filed ad infinitum. This procedure has a high probability of resulting in a bad patent.
The average examiner spends eighteen hours examining a patent application over a period of nearly two years. This is due to the heavy workload and turnover of examiners. The PTO does not have a systematic incentive to spend more time on complex applications.
If the patentee files a continuation, it is treated like a new application, and the examiner must perform a search of the prior art. This means that the examination process is more complicated than other types of prosecution.