Monday, March 26, 2018

The Worth of a Patent (Application): Well Drafted Verse Self-Written

It bears repeating that technology-based Entrepreneurs usually need a well-written patent application.  This Blogger has inherited applications that were written by talent-challenged drafters.  And we almost always hit a train wreck at some point.

First, the Patent Office will perform an "initial examination." During this phase, they will look for everything from trivial grammatical errors up to more serious issues such as confused writing and hopelessly drafted claims. All of these issues will likely occur in Inventor-written applications. Straightening these issues out, if possible, can cost thousands of dollars.

Eventually the Patent Office will perform a substantive examination. At that time, the claims and written description come under severe scrutiny. If the claims do not measure up (even seasoned Patent Attorneys have issues with claim drafting) they will be rejected as being unclear or missing the point(s) disclosed in the application.

Of course, prior art will raise its ugly head at this point. And the best defense against prior art is having a detailed, thorough application. Otherwise, no recourse might exist to argue around close prior art.

Assuming that the application issues as a patent, its worth will largely be determined by the strength of the claims and the backing those claims have in the description. Poorly written claims can be designed around leaving the patent virtually worthless. This Blogger performed one analysis in which all we had to do was not use a “coil spring” to actuate a particular device leaving us free to move ahead with a competing product.

Lack of a good description in the application can also render a patent subject to collateral attack. And that is doubly true in this age of post-grant reviews of various sorts at the Patent Office. In short, a non-Patent Agent/Attorney has very little chance of drafting a well-written patent application.

We at the Villhard Patent Group would welcome the opportunity to discuss your Intellectual Property. You can find more information about us at www.villhardpatents. Or you can contact us at 512-897-0399. We look forward to hearing from you.

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