Patent applications are generally drafted to protect an invention, but still many times it happens that due to the unnecessary inclusion of contents, the patent application will be wasted and will remain a Paper Patent. Which means that the patent document will no longer be used effectively for preventing competition to your product.
These are the 10 things that the inventor can do to prevent deterioration of the patent document before filing:
- Do not ever try to draft patent application on your own, unless you have previous experience of drafting patent applications.
- A patent draft is not a technical document, but a techno-legal document. Which means, pure a technocrat or a lawyer without technical knowledge will not be a right person to writing patent drafts.
- Generally, inventors focus on advantages achieved by the invention rather than construction/method/process. Objectives achieved by the inventions cannot be protected but only the construction/method/process can be. Therefore, advantages should not be the part of your claims but can be written separately at the end of the description and in the Objects of the inventions.
- Claims should be as short as possible. More you write in the claims, narrower is the scope of your patent. Most of the inventors try to include all elements in the claims, which is not a good. This may give competitors to do some small tweaking with your invention and get away from the scope of your claims, which you don’t want. If the claims are short and broad enough it will be difficult for your competitors to get away with small modifications and it’s true either way when the claims are lengthy and narrow. Getting a grant for a narrow claim is very easy, which is not useful. Writing the claims broad enough while filing and narrowing it down a bit at the time of examination is the best strategy.
- Enablement- This is one of the most important criteria for granting patent application. Enablement means, the claims should be enabled in the description by explaining best mode of working the invention, which can be construction or method or process which can be read by a normal person skilled in the art to reproduce the invention.
- Figures should be legible and according to the prescribed format by the respective patent office. The format is same across the globe but page setting is different in different offices. Improper figures may confuse the examiner and also the court in case there is an infringement suit filed by you in future. This may keep the opposite part and the decision making authority in dilemma.
- If you hire a patent consultant, you should trust him and let him do his part, your duty is to only explain what is your invention and wait for his version of patent specification with claims. You can check the documents with reference to the points mentioned above.
- Writing longer patent specification will add value to the patent is a wrong understanding. Shorter the patent application better it is during litigation. Many attorneys also have practices of writing a long patent application to please their clients, which is not advisable.
- Hire a Patent consultant/agent/attorney having experience of drafting patent applications from the same field as that of your invention. Generally, patent consultants may have experience of drafting from diversified fields of technology, which is common, just ask for few references before you hand over the work.
- Selecting a patent consultant/agent/attorney in itself is a big challenge. Many people have a mirage of expertise and some have real expertise. How to identify. Just check few patents published or ask him/her to work on a sample project in a short deadline of 15-20days, which will give you a fair idea of his/her expertise.
These are few things (not limited to) you can do to prevent wastage of your patent specification.