Drafting Patents: An Overview – Drafting a patent is an art that requires knowledge of subject matter as well the regulatory norms. In case the draftsperson is not acquainted with the subject matter she will not be able to draft claims accordingly. Likewise if you are a subject-matter expert but not acquainted with the regulatory norms you will not be able to present your invention in the required format.
In other words, we can say is that much of the success of your idea depends on how a patent is drafted and thus it is important to draft a patent as per the regulatory norms provided by the respective patent office.
With this article, our main aim is to help people understand what all it takes to create a killer patent draft and what are the steps involved in this. Before we dive into rest of the contents let’s understand first what a patent is and how it’s an asset for us.
What is a patent?
A Patent is a written and legal document between the inventor and the respective Government that binds representatives of the inventor with certain terms and conditions. Once the patent is assigned the patent holder will have the monopoly of using, manufacturing, license for manufacturing, or selling the accompanied invention in the patent for a period of 20 years after which it will come to the public domain and will be free to use.
Do Patents have monetary value?
Like any other tangible assets viz. (real estates, land, vehicles, equipment, machinery, furniture, inventory, stock, bonds and cash) it’s also an asset and have a monetary value.
Steps involved in drafting patents
1. Obtaining Invention Disclosures from Inventors: An invention disclosure, or invention disclosure report, is a confidential document written by a domain expert(s) for use by a company’s patent department, or by an external patent attorney, to determine whether patent protection should be sought for the described invention. It may follow a standardized form established within a company.
2. Identifying Patentable Inventions: Identifying Patentable Inventions is the next important thing that we should do while doing patent drafting. In this step we determine whether an invention meets criterion like novelty, inventiveness, obviousness, usefulness and others. This is done by the inventor and a patent agent (patent lawyer) together by looking into the legal aspect as well as the scientific aspect. Once the patentable features of the invention is established we can then move ahead with the preparation of claims. Before we move on to preparing claims, let’s understand various parts of a patent application. Typically, a patent application has 5 main parts, which are as follows:
3. Preparing Claims: The claims are the legally-operative part of a patent application that determines the scope of the invention. Every feature disclosed within the claim will be deemed under the scope of the invention and anything that is not written in the claim is beyond the scope of the invention and the inventor can’t assert its claim on these features. Drafting Patents
While drafting claims for inventions following points should be kept in consideration:
- Make sure that specification supports the claims
- Use multiple claim types for the same invention
- The claims must overcome the prior art
- Keep abreast of competing products in the field of invention
- Give negative limitations and disclaimers whenever required
- A patent claim should have a consistent “point of view”
- Narrow a patent claim during prosecution after mentioning it broadly
- Mention the requirement for industrial application or describe the utility
4. Preparing patent drawings: A patent drawing also called as patent illustration is not mandatory as per statutory law, still, it is recommended as it can make an invention easier to understand and comprehend. Unlike typical drawing, a patent drawing is created by adhering to the various rules and regulations provided by the respective patent office. Drafting Patents
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5. Filing Patent Applications: This is the fourth and one of the most important phases of patent drafting where-in we file the application with the respective patent office and seek for a grant. In rest of the article we will describe the important points those should be taken into consideration while filing a patent application. The best way to secure an early priority date is by filing the application in domestic country first. For example if an invention is made in the United States it should first be filed in the same country and then we can move on to foreign countries.
6. Prosecuting Patent Applications: After preparing and filing a high quality patent application, a patent agent must skillfully and articulately advocate the patentability of his client’s invention before the patent office reviewing the application. This process is called “patent prosecution”. The patent prosecution process involves following steps.
- Patent Drafting Services
- Office Action Support
- Patent Drawing Services
- Patent Paralegal Services
- Prior-Art Search Services