Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing Your Patent Application
You have worked hard to design and develop a product that will benefit consumers. You have no doubt invested considerable time and significant effort examining every angle and aspect of your invention. However, your work isn’t complete. The final and most crucial step you will take is submitting your patent applications for approval. This critical stage requires unwavering attention to detail from a team of experts. While you can submit your application without legal assistance, it is not advisable, due to the significant pitfalls associated with making a mistake.
Never Make Assumptions
Humans review patent applications, and as such, you should never make assumptions about their expertise or knowledge. Assuming that the examiner will know how your product works is a fatal flaw that is easily avoidable. Your application should remove any ambiguity regarding the design, composition, and function of your product. The more specific you are in your descriptions and examples, the higher the likelihood the respective issuing authority will grant your patent.
One frequently used piece of advice is to think of it as describing your invention to someone who is blind. It is up to you to describe as much detail as possible so the recipient can get a clear picture of what it is they need to know. Detailed drawings, thorough descriptions, and accurate calculations are key elements that patent applications should never omit.
Watch Your Language
Ever say, “watch your language” to your children? It is good advice for you to follow with your patent applications. However, four-letter words aren’t your concern; what you need to be mindful of is the interpretation of the words used to describe the function and operation of your product. There are numerous examples of patents the courts have ruled invalid because of the language used to secure the patent. As such, it is crucial to have an attorney draft and edit patent applications before submission. Your attorney will ensure there are no double meanings, unclear directions, or misclassifications within the text. This can eliminate potential confusion, and most importantly, any competitor’s attempts to exploit your patent for their own financial benefit.
Another critical thing to watch for and avoid is including any comparisons with prior art within your patent applications. While it can be tempting to include this within your ‘Summary of the Invention,’ it is not recommended. There are other ways to demonstrate that your product is an improvement over an existing design. When you include descriptive statements about the prior art, you expose your patent to rejection by the examiner. Thus, it is always best to keep comparisons and descriptions of existing patents to an absolute minimum and remain as vague as possible so the focus remains on your patent and not your competitor’s.
Not Filing the Right Patent Documents
This is a common mistake that is easily avoidable. There are three different types of patent applications; utility, design, and plant patents, and there are numerous documents associated with filing each. Filing the wrong documents can result in waiting a long time for rejection. Because there are many factors to consider with every patent, consulting a patent attorney prior to commencing the application process and ensuring that your application goes into the right pipeline is a good idea.
Contact Global Patent Solutions at (877) 274-2011 for more information about our services and to learn about the steps we take in support of properly drafted and filed patent applications. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and help you prepare your patent for submission.