No one likes to waste time – especially throughout a process like patent prosecution where inefficiencies quickly add up to great expense. The beauty of patent drafting tools is that they take tasks off our plates so we can prosecute our patent applications more efficiently. Here are three time-wasting scenarios where patent automation can really pay off.
1. Drafting Patent Applications
A well-drafted patent application is often the result of many iterations, quality checks, and synchronizations. Patent sections need to integrate with and correctly reference one another, and patent language and terminology should be both accurate and consistently used. Why? Because failure to do so could result in a Section 112 rejection, which requires patent specifications to be written in “full, clear, concise, and exact terms,” and that patent claims “[point] out and distinctly [claim]” a patent’s subject matter.
When reviewing a patent draft for Section 112 issues, patent practitioners act with careful focus and sustained effort. Automating patent draft reviews, however, can shorten the drafting phase so that practitioners can focus their attention on other tasks, and clients can save a bit on billable hours. The LexisNexis PatentOptimizer® patent drafting tool can identify both claim errors and Section 112 errors. PatentOptimizer™ also helps to detect patent profanity, inaccurate or inconsistent part names and numbers, inconsistent measurement conversions, and even reviews the overall patent quality so that your time does not go to waste.
2. Preparing USPTO Forms
Patent applicants have a duty to disclose prior art (anything that could cut against an invention’s patentability), and, with that duty, enters the Information Disclosure Statement (IDS). An IDS is a form that the USPTO requires patent applicants to submit, which must be populated with document numbers, assignee names, and other information specific to each applicable prior art reference. Naturally, going through each prior art reference that needs to be disclosed and manually copying information onto an IDS form is time-consuming (and, as it turns out, also unnecessary). PatentOptimizer users need only to create a simple list of reference numbers in either Word, Excel, or PDF format. PatentOptimizer will import reference information from the LexisNexis® IP patent reference database and can automatically populate a USPTO IDS form for you.
3. Drafting Responses to Office Actions
Having an air-tight patent application that is free of Section 112 issues does not mean that patent prosecution will be a walk in the park. Applications are always susceptible to rejections based on Sections 101 (subject matter), 102 (novelty), and 103 (non-obviousness). The good news is that, with all of the patent applications that have been filed with the USPTO, there is likely an application that was filed before yours that successfully overcame a similar rejection. Rather than spending time devising an office action response from scratch, why not draw upon analogous office action responses that proved successful in the past?
The new PatentOptimizer Office Action Response tool minimizes time spent on responses and reduces human error. The Office Action Response tool retrieves related documents directly from the USPTO Public and Private PAIR sites, and generates a comprehensive office action response shell so users can easily analyze similarly issued office actions and view potential response approaches.
Time is a terrible thing to waste. LexisNexis IP patent drafting tools tackle time-consuming tasks so patent professionals can prosecute patents more efficiently.