Effective management of all patent prospects allows efficient patent docketing. Patent docketing includes keeping track of all the relevant documents, deadlines, timelines, forms, drawings, etc. within a database. It also manages a calendar to make alerts and reminders. This is regarding all the timelines, in accordance with the USPTO guidelines.
Efficient Patent Docketing Tips
Let’s look at the following 5 effective patent docketing tips for managing patent prosecution tasks:
Follow an organized or systematic structure:
The pre-requisite behind an efficient docketing is to follow a systematic approach while docketing. It is necessary to follow protocols to keep track of all minute details. This will ensure that you don’t miss the important dates and deadlines. Also, you can avoid financial losses. Once a date is missed the client misses a date, he/she remains completely non-answerable for the reason and his/her invention suffers. An imperfect process to follow conventional protocols can result in claims which can cause serious damage to your firm’s reputation.
It is therefore important to maintain a centralized software-based docket and calendar system. It will record and track all matters (documents to be presented in court and with other agencies, or documents obtained from the court and administrative agencies.). Also, it will store the action history and send alerts or reminders whenever required.
Inculcate easy-to-use mechanism:
The docket process must be easy-to-learn and use. So that both clients and attorneys will be able to use the automated software-based process. It will lead to non-usage if there are any complicacy and ambiguity in specifications. All specifications and methodologies must be properly explained. This will avoid any confusion prior to first-time use. Also, there must be some sort of annual review to ensure that the staff is properly trained.
Formulize a centralized and redundant system:
You must take help of centralized and redundant task repository to enhance management. It will furthermore bring transparency to your patent tasks. Through this, all the concerned people will be able to monitor their task-related activities with transparency and will be able to back up and maintain their individual calendars for their priority tasks, respectively.
To make it more user-friendly, people can start using platform-independent software to access, store, and view anything from anywhere. This will increase its readability and accuracy. Also, the calendar must send weekly updates about tasks (completed, currently working, and yet to start) depending upon the client’s requirements.
Monitor team’s activities:
It is important to supervise teamwork for the overall planning and execution of the docketing process. It is better to analyze periodic reviews and divide responsibilities among the whole team. This will help increase the speed of task execution.
Instead of using a manual calendar for an entire firm, it will be helpful to use mail-based calendars, such as Google calendar or Outlook mail. This is because it automatically prompts before any important on-going process.
Initiate using specification-based forms:
Try to use a new client/matter intake form with basic information (specific questions to know about the deadlines and expectations from the clients). This will decide whether to accept or decline the representation. But, the firm must not consider everything as specified by the client. On the other hand, you must conduct an independent investigation to ensure all the information specified by the client is true.
Calendars must also be specification-based, depending upon the practice. Consider the following cases:
- Litigation Practice: The system must have all court dates, appearances, pleading deadlines, court filings, discovery dates, and opposing party deadlines.
- Real estate practice: The system must have all inspection and due diligence deadlines, contract deadlines, loan and documentation deadlines, closing dates, recording deadlines and lien notification dates.
- Regulatory practice: The system should include all information regarding deadlines for filing and recording.
- Tax, trust, or estate practice: The system should enlist all litigation deadlines and tax return filing dates.
- Corporate/commercial practice: The system should include all annual meetings, tax return and financial statement deadlines, and regulatory filing deadlines
- Patent/copyright/trademark practice: The system should include all information for deadlines regarding filing applications (domestic and foreign) and dates of annuity or maintenance payments.
We can simplify your tasks!
We, at the Patent Perfect Docketing, will take care of all your concerns so that you and your team can focus on other techno-legal aspects. A good docketing system creates space for you to focus more on your invention, rather than remembering the deadlines associated with it. We implement all the above tips to establish a well-planned and consistently executed procedure. Doing so will help your law practice run smoothly and avoid claims for missed deadlines.
To know more, please visit our service page.