Complete Guide for Patent Drafting : Patent drafting means the art of presenting a preliminary version of an essential document of the invention, highlighting all the inventive elements, embodiments, and scope. The style of drafting depends upon the type of patent, such as it varies depending upon whether it is a utility or a design patent. For instance, utility patent focuses on the structure and its operations, whereas design patent focuses more on product’s appearance. The rights granted in patents are defined by the claims that are meant to protect the product’s specifications and functionalities. Thus, claims serve as the mitochondria to a patent since it describes the scope of the exclusive rights granted by the government. And hence, professional help or assistance is must while dealing with patent claims to make the complicated work easier.
Under the patent claims, it is mandatory that the patent application must depict minimum of one claim that distinctively depicts the invention. With the basic fees of filing, three independent claims and up to twenty total claims are permitted without any extra charges. The number of claims a patent could make accelerates its ranking and makes it more generalized. There are two sets in which the claim can be made, namely the independent and the dependent form. As the name suggests, an independent claim does not incorporate with any other claim and thus is rare to be made. Whereas a dependent claim, on the other hand, incorporates additional elements into the previous product, thus limiting the boundaries of the claims to avoid plagiarism.
Guide for Patent Drafting
Importance of learning the art of patent drafting and stating patent claims must be well understood by the stakeholders. A three-step process must be followed while drafting a patent to generate an efficiently drafted patent, which is described below in detail.
- Judging: The process starts when the inventor first fills the invention disclosure form. The form contains a number of set questions which includes both logical and analytical questions to extract the details about functionalities and features of the invention, directly from the inventor. This is then followed by scheduling a personal interview with the inventor, once his/her previous disclosure form is properly reviewed. This helps in taking knowledge about the technology and its features in detail. This step not only briefs the interviewer about the functionalities of the invention but it also helps in analyzing its scope. If there is a possibility of any sort of expansion, modifications, or improvements in terms of scope, then this is the best time to realize and work against it.
- Framing: Once the inventor goes through with all these basic judgmental steps, patent sketches, claims, and drawings are created. After understanding the scope and all the working parts, free-hand drawings and sketches are made to visualize and analyze the elements in a more detailed form. These sketches can be of any form, such as architecture diagrams, use case diagrams, algorithms, flow charts, maps, pictorial diagrams, etc. that could structure out the claims in such a manner that even a beginner could get an idea behind the invention. Once sketching is done, patent claims are drafted, in such a manner that a person could create the sketches even by reading the claims. After drafting the claims, formal patent drawings or figures are prepared to include everything that has been claimed. The focus must be on to that the three above-mentioned phases, such as sketching, drafting and making claims must be well synchronized and all must depict the same.
- Portraying: After the judgmental and framing steps, the patent description is produced. In the description, every element of the invention is described in detail. If any steps are involved then numbering can be used. The basic aim of this step is to make the requirements and functionalities so clear that it can be understood by anyone and can be used in future for inventing new products. Creation of patent abstract is the last and most absolute step of patent drafting. Once everything is done, an abstract must be prepared that illustrates a brief summary about the patent.
The Patent drafting must be complete, precise, and abbreviated since the Patent drafting document is evaluated and examined by the patent examiner for granting a patent for a technology. If the document fails to meet the standards of the examiner and the government laws then the whole efforts will go in vain, which must be prevented as far as possible. The best way is to appoint an experienced technical expert that has precise knowledge and skills to deal with all these matters.
There are three basic rules of drafting a patent, which is described below in detail:
- Incorporation of the preamble: It means that an introductory phrase in the claim must be incorporated to present the claim in more systematic and ordered manner, without limiting its scope. Another important aspect of the preamble is that it must avoid the inclusion of functional language since framing important sentences with its functions, limits its scope. For example, it can start like this, ‘A scoop…’, but including functional aspects like, ‘A silver spoon…’ limits its scope.
- Incorporation of transition: It means that correct transitions must be used while framing the claims with the terms such as, ‘comprising of’ and ‘consisting of’ for independent claims and the terms, ‘further’ and ‘comprising wherein’ for dependent claims. Using the term ‘comprising of’ depicts a broader scope that the scope is not limited to the elements used while using ‘consisting of’ makes the scope more limited and centered to what is described. Use of ‘consisting of’ is more often seen in as a transition in the field of chemical, biotech, pharmaceutical arts, or more technologically advanced fields. Rest for software and a method, mechanical and electrical inventions, the term ‘comprising of’ is advised to use. For example, ‘A car comprising of’ focuses on more open aspect.
- Incorporation of limitation: It means that when an element, internal reference, or a character is described in a patent claim, it must be introduced with antecedents (a, an, the, said, whichever is grammatically correct and appropriate). It has two classes according to the usage type, namely the primary (a, an) and the secondary antecedent (said, the). Any new data must be introduced with the primary antecedents and existing reference must be introduced by using secondary antecedents. For example, ‘A car wherein said with silver shield’, depicts about the car feature that was already there in the car.