Patent drafting is a methodology of presenting pure technical explanation about the patent in the form of a document, called as the patent draft. It is important to have the proper technical domain knowledge about the patent subject, while drafting a patent. Since, patent draft is the first document that reaches in public for the first time, therefore, special care must be taken while preparing its content. Any sort of mistake can lead to negative scrutiny by the patent examiner, and which may cause rejection.
Drafting process is a three-step process that frames any patent application as its end product. Let’s now learn about the three steps to understand the complexity of the drafting process.
- To Analyze/Judge the focus of Invention: The inventor/applicant needs to fill the IDS (Information Disclosure Statement) form to disclose major features and functionalities of the invention. Once the IDS is filed and reviewed, a personal interview is scheduled with the inventor, to take knowledge about the technology and its features in detail. This will make more clear understanding about the functionalities of the invention, and will help 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 for its implementation.
- To Frame the Patent Application w.r.t the Invention: After analyzing the scope and major focus of the invention, the process of framing the patent application begins. Patent sketches, claims, and drawings are created based on the understanding and visualization of the all the working parts in more detailed form. By sketches, we mean any pictorial representations, 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 idea behind the invention.
After the sketching once gets completed, next is the creation of patent claims. Claims are to be drafted in accordance to the USPTO prescribed format. This is followed by creation and inclusion of any diagrams to validate and present the claims in more understandable format.
- To add Precision and Un-Ambiguity to the Patent Application: The description is the last step that must be created in precise and un-ambiguous format. All the steps and elements are to be explained in detail in such a manner that it can easily be understood and implemented by a person holding basic knowledge of that domain. 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.
Patent drafting is a complete, precise, and abbreviated task since it involves reveling the information about the invention. If information is incorrect from any angle, the application might get prone to be abandoned, as soon as patent examiner catches that mistake. Not just simply following the specifications will ensure patent grant, but the application must meet also USPTO’s patent standards. That is not the complete story. Meeting the invention’s focus, and USPTO standards does not complete the work. The document/application must also be in accordance with what the patent examiner wants to see.
Till now, we have seen that any Drafter simply needs to follow the aforementioned steps to draft an invention. Another major role of a drafter while writing the patent application is to understand and visualize the specifications from three major viewpoints.
“A Patent Draft is a document that gives Identity to an Invention”
According to my self-invented quote, an invention can only be discovered if its drafter (person responsible for creating the patent draft) puts all the efforts to frame details of the invention in the form of a good textual application. Drafters can be anyone that has complete knowledge about the technical (domain from which invention belongs) as well as legal aspects, such as Patent Applicants, Inventors, Patent Professionals, etc.
It is the responsibility of the drafters to frame the patent application while considering the following three viewpoints in parallel:
- Domain-specific approach: While drafting the patent application, it is his major responsibility that the application must reflect what is intended in technical aspects. Sometimes, there are so many standards to meet that the drafter forgets about reflecting the technicalities of the invention. It must be framed in a manner to bring clarity of procedures and processes (if any), to depict the application technical-domain, areas to be improved, and its scope. This brings correctness in technicalities of the application, reducing the error probability to minimal.
- Business oriented approach: Before drafting the patent application, the drafter must also carefully analyze the potential infringers. This will allow the drafter to frame application to make profits by attracting possible infringers or competitors, and also to become more careful so as not to infringe anyone else’s patent rights. This will surely save a huge amount of money (saving it from infringement) once the patent is granted.
- Patentability Standard-based approach: It is the key responsibility of the drafter to understand the scope of invention before drafting and provide suggestions if that scope can be expanded to secure more rights for it from the government. But this doesn’t mean that the drafter becomes least interested towards following the major pre-requisites of patenting. The invention and the application showing the invention must be novel, non-obvious, must bear industrial applicability, and must be presented in clear and un-ambiguous terms. The drafter must also be familiar with all the prior arts of same domain and must draft the patent specification differentiating to avoid any infringement.
Thus, a patent drafter must be an expert having knowledge about the domain and the patent laws, who can visualize and frame the invention after meeting all the aforementioned requirements.
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