By securing IP rights, tech companies can establish a competitive advantage in the market and secure a position as a leader in their respective technology sector. Creating a strong, defensible patent is an expensive and time-consuming process. When you have many law firms reporting to you, coordination among multiple law firm IT solutions can be confusing. That’s why companies often provide access to patent drafting and prosecution software to outside counsel to improve the flow of information, patent quality, and consistency of work.
1. Software Improves Patent Quality and Consistency
Patent software can improve patent quality and consistency in several ways:
Standardization of processes
Patent software can standardize and streamline the patent application and prosecution processes in your company, ensuring consistency in the format and content of patent applications.
Patent software can assist in the preparation of patent applications, reducing the likelihood of errors and increasing the accuracy of the information contained in the application.
Enhanced searching and analysis
Patent software can improve the searching and analysis of prior art and relevant information, providing a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the state of the art and helping to avoid potential infringement issues.
Faster and more efficient processing
Patent software can automate and speed up the process of preparing, filing, and processing patent applications, reducing the time and resources required to secure a patent.
Patent software can facilitate collaboration between inventors, attorneys, and other stakeholders, enabling a more efficient and streamlined patent application process.
Overall, patent software can help improve the quality and consistency of patent applications by standardizing processes, improving accuracy, enhancing searching and analysis, speeding up processing, and facilitating collaboration.
The quality control process is the most important part of any company’s efforts to achieve and sustain excellence in their work. Creating and maintaining a quality control process requires careful planning and the use of innovative technology. This is especially true for a small or medium-sized business. However, it is no less necessary for a large company. As a result, companies that implement the right quality control process can reap major rewards in terms of increased profits and customer satisfaction.
2. Software improves the Visibility of the Patent Prosecution Workflow
The visibility into the patent work-in-process is critical for both the inventor, in-house counsel, and law firms.
A conventional workflow begins with a 1-2 page invention disclosure submission by inventors at a company. These submissions are reviewed by an invention manager, who decides whether to send to an outside lawyer for drafting. The outside lawyer renders the first draft in a month and then sends to the inventor(s) to review and then to the invention manager for approval. Typically this process takes 1-3 months and visibility is lacking as to the status of the case.
The use of an online patent workstation software such as PowerPatent’s solution addresses this issue. Inventors can submit invention disclosures that can be quickly converted into full-blown patent applications online. The submission can be reviewed by the invention manager, or can be routed using rules to an invention review board, or can simply go straight to outside counsel for filing. Outside counsel logs in to the secure system to do their value-added work and collaborate with the inventors and the invention manager and file. Once filed, the system automatically tracks status of the case, along with any communications from the USPTO in a docketing system that is visible to the outside counsel and to the invention manager. The online end-to-end solution provides different levels of access and all analytics on invention submissions and patent prosecution are captured within the system.
3. Software helps inventors and attorneys with documenting the invention
Patent lawyers need to take special care in the drafting of patent drawings as they have to be accurate and technical in nature and conform to the requirements of Section 101 and Section 112.
The best way to avoid antecedent basis rejection for 112 issues is to thoroughly review the patent drafting process and ensure that all claims and specifications are well-drafted. This can be done by performing a thorough review manually or using patent drafting tools that help catch drafting errors such as the “Check Claims” and “Check Terms” features.
For example, a common antecedent basis issue is when a claim refers to the first leg, second leg, or third leg of a tripod without clearly identifying which leg it is referring to. This could lead to an antecedent basis issue, and the examiner might issue a section 112 rejection.
Another way to avoid antecedent basis issues is by using the proper grammatical rules in claims drafting. This is typically accomplished by introducing the term “a” before the word “the,” and then following that with the word “the.”
A lack of antecedent basis in claims can also be avoided by ensuring that any indefinite articles used in the patent claims are supported by the specification. This can be done by explaining how an indefinite article is defined within the specification or by providing a reference to the prior art that supports the definition of the term.
The drafting should be thorough and error-free, and the claims must contain the proper language to back the patent’s merits. A Computer-Aided Design (CAD) patent analysis can be applied to an invention disclosure to ensure consistency in several ways:
CAD analysis can help to accurately represent the design and functionality of an invention, ensuring that the invention disclosure is clear, consistent, and accurate.
By using CAD, inventors and patent attorneys can create flowcharts and visual representations of their invention, which can help to better understand the design and ensure consistency in the disclosure. A neatly drawn patent drawing makes it easier for a non-technical person to understand the invention and eliminates any ambiguity that may arise due to the language used in claims. In addition, patent drawings help in highlighting the key elements of the invention, thereby aiding in avoiding any possible objections from examiners.
Faster and more efficient patent application iteration
CAD analysis can be used to quickly and easily iterate on the scope or coverage of an invention, allowing inventors and lawyers to identify and address inconsistencies and improve the overall design of the invention.
CAD analysis can facilitate collaboration between inventors, engineers, lawyers, invention managers, and other stakeholders, enabling a more efficient and streamlined invention disclosure process.
Overall, CAD analysis can help to improve the consistency and accuracy of invention disclosures by providing enhanced visualization, enabling faster and more efficient design iteration, and facilitating collaboration.
4. Improved Collaboration with Inventors
The software improves collaboration between inventors and patent lawyers, which can significantly improve the work product in several ways:
Improved understanding of the invention
By working closely together, inventors and patent lawyers can gain a better understanding of the invention and its features, which can lead to a stronger and more comprehensive patent application.
Better protection of the invention
Patent lawyers can provide guidance to inventors on the best ways to protect their inventions and ensure that the patent application fully covers all aspects of the invention.
Close collaboration between inventors and patent lawyers can streamline the patent application process, reducing the time and resources required to secure a patent.
Collaboration between inventors and patent lawyers can help to ensure that the patent application is accurate and that all relevant information is included in the application.
Stronger patent portfolio
By working closely together, inventors and patent lawyers can build a stronger patent portfolio that provides robust protection for the invention.
Overall, tight collaboration between inventors and patent lawyers can lead to a more efficient, accurate, and comprehensive patent application, and can help to build a stronger patent portfolio.
There are several reasons why companies may choose to provide software for patent drafting to an outside attorney.
Companies can achieve a certain standardization of the patent writing process by providing software for patent drafting to outside counsel. It may be that they have certain requirements or templates to follow to ensure consistency in their patent portfolio. They can enforce these standards by using the software to ensure that all patents have a uniform format.
By providing patent drafting software for outside counsel, the company can better collaborate with its legal representatives. Software can be used to facilitate document sharing, versioning, and real-time collaborative features. This allows both parties working on the same patent application at once. It improves communication and transparency while improving the quality of the patent.
Patent writing software includes many features and tools to streamline the process. It might have pre-defined sections and automated functions, which make it easier for outside counsels to draft patent applications. By using this software, companies are able to improve their efficiency and reduce time spent on drafting a patent.
Companies can provide patent drafting tools to outside counsel in order to save money. The company could provide an integrated software solution to their internal systems, rather than relying solely on the outside counsel’s software and tools. This would require additional training or licensing costs. It eliminates compatibility problems, lowers software acquisition costs and streamlines billing processes.
Intellectual Property Management
Many companies have sophisticated systems for managing their IP portfolios. They can integrate their IP management systems with the patent drafting software they provide to outside counsel. This integration allows seamless data transfers, document tracking, and easy management for patent applications in the company’s IP eco-system.
Control and oversight
By providing patent drafting software for outside counsel, companies can better control and oversee the drafting process. They can track progress, review drafts and ensure compliance with internal policies and strategies. Software may include quality control and review features, which allow the company to maintain a desired level of quality in patents and align their drafting process with the overall IP strategy.
Control, oversight and quality assurance ensure that the drafted applications meet the standards of the company. To maintain accuracy and consistency, the company can create templates, guidelines and best practices in its software. The company can review drafts, provide feedback and ensure that patent applications are aligned with their IP strategy.
Controls and oversight ensure that legal requirements and regulations are met. The software can be configured to perform checks and balances to ensure that the patent applications are in compliance with patent laws, guidelines from the patent office, and regulations specific to the industry. This minimizes the chance of filings that are non-compliant, contain errors or omissions.
Alignment to Business Strategy
Controls and oversight enable the company’s patent drafting process to be aligned with its business strategies. Software can be configured so that it captures key information on the invention, market dynamics, and competitive landscape. This information allows the company to assess the strategic value of a patent application and make informed decisions regarding filing or abandonment.
A well-planned out and executed patent application preparation plan supported by the proper software is the key to securing strong patents that will help your company move the ball forward in the long term. companies provide patent drafting software to outside counsel to enhance efficiency, ensure consistency and quality, facilitate collaboration, and gain better control over their patent portfolio. By leveraging these tools, both the company and the outside counsel can benefit from improved productivity, reduced costs, and streamlined patent application processes.