If you are an inventor or have developed a new product, you may be considering filing a patent. Having a patent on your invention can give you the confidence you need to move ahead and expand your business. However, before you file a patent on your new product, make sure you avoid the top mistakes that many inventors make.
Not researching the prior art
If you are considering applying for a patent, you need to be aware of the importance of conducting a search. Failure to conduct a search can lead to the denial of your application. Even if your invention has already been patented, a patentability search can be a valuable tool for your defense of infringement claims. Moreover, a search can also serve as a defense against challenges to your patent. In addition, a failure to disclose the contents of your patent application is a violation of the duty of disclosure. This can lead to a patent that is invalid or unenforceable. It can also deter future inventors from pursuing a patentable invention.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires applicants to disclose material information that might affect the adequacy of their patent. Information is considered material if it meets the requirements of 37 CFR 1.56(b)(1) or (2). Generally, it is only necessary to disclose information that is not material if the applicant believes it would harm the patent. However, many applicants assume they can perform a search themselves.
Researching your intended patent can be a daunting task. A good first step is to have a clear idea of what you are looking for. This helps you decide on the most relevant search terms. After that, you can narrow down your search based on patent type, priority date and filing date. Once you have found the patent you need, you will have a clear path to the filing and patent prosecution phases of the process.
Rushing to file a patent
Whether you are an individual or an inventor, rushing to file a patent application can cause a lot of problems. In fact, a rushed patent application can cost you time and money, which you can instead spend on experimenting with your idea and finding out whether it is viable. You can also learn how to license your invention and find out if it has a market.
The best way to find out if your idea has a market is to talk to people who may be interested in licensing your invention. They can also give you feedback on potential products. By presenting your idea to retailers and licensees, you can learn if your invention is a viable option and which steps you should take to move it forward. Ultimately, the key to bringing your idea to life is by pursuing your idea. If you need help with that, you can contact an intellectual property attorney.
As an inventor, you should make sure you have a good roadmap for the technology transfer process. When you are deciding what to file, you must consider how you will license your invention. If you don’t do this, you risk losing out on sales. Another consideration is the amount of time you will have to wait before you can file a patent. For example, if you wait until after you have raised money for your invention, you will have to file a patent after you have launched your product. This can be a problem because you will have to wait a long time before you can communicate with your strategic partners.
A patent application must include a full disclosure of the invention. This does not necessarily entail describing the whole thing. Instead, it may require an extensive analysis of the various embodiments of the claimed invention. If an examiner finds a patent application lacking in the written description department, the resulting rejection may prove costly to the applicant.
An application can be considered lacking in the written description department for several reasons. Specifically, an application’s subject matter may not have been described at all, or the written description may have been left unattended by the drafting or filing wizards. In most cases, an applicant can remedy the problem by responding to the examiner’s requisition with comments and supporting documentation.
The most common form of lack of full disclosure consists of an absence of a written description in the specification. This is especially true of claims reciting inventions in which the claimed invention is not the only premise. Nevertheless, an examiner may find that an applicant has made a significant effort to satisfy the written description requirement. To illustrate, an examiner might consider whether a recited invention can be characterized as a functional octamer or an element in the human body.
Another instance of a lack of full disclosure is the lack of a written description in the abstract. For example, an application may describe a piston without a recessed channel. However, the application would not be deemed lacking in the written description department if it were to disclose a cylinder head with a recessed channel.
Generally speaking, the best way to prove a patent’s novelty is to show that the claimed invention is unique and non-obvious. Similarly, an examiner’s ability to distinguish an application from prior art will save the applicant from a costly litigation battle.
A patent application should be a comprehensive and exhaustive description of your invention, from its function and usage to its nifty features and benefits. To that end, there are a number of common mistakes to avoid. For example, you may be filing an overly specific application that will restrict monetization options. This is one of the most common and most costly mistakes a pro se inventor can make.
One of the best ways to bulk up your application is to submit quality patent drawings. In particular, you’ll want to see the drawings in 3D. You’ll also want to explain each drawing in a brief but thorough description.
The best way to describe your invention is through an illustration, not word of mouth or a web page. It’s a good idea to write out your description and then go over it from top to bottom. If you’re looking for a more formal approach, check out the USPTO’s manual on Patent Examination Procedure.
A good description of your invention can do wonders for your application. An overly ambiguous description will sour your chances of a patent grant. Fortunately, it’s easy to correct your mistake. After all, you’re the one who’s paying the fees!
Although it may be a while before you get your hands on that shiny patent, you’ll be thankful you took the time to find out about what you’re really up to. Getting a patent on your novel creation can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences imaginable. From there, you’ll have a leg up on the competition and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve made the right choice. Just be sure to follow the proper etiquette and you’ll be on your way to patent glory.
Failing to include drawings in the patent application
It’s important to avoid making some of the common mistakes that lead to patent application rejections. These include inconsistency, lack of visual materials, and non-enablement. If you avoid these mistakes, your application is much more likely to be accepted.
First, you should submit good drawings. Drawings make your patent more understandable and deter infringement. They also allow you to control the timeline of your application.
The USPTO has specific rules and requirements for patent drawings. Some of them are related to size, ink, and paper. But they can vary from office to office.
If you can’t meet these specifications, you should consider hiring a professional draftsperson. A professional can save you time, effort, and money. He or she knows the specific demands of different patent offices and can ensure that your drawings meet all their requirements.
Another mistake to avoid is over-inclusion. This occurs when you have more than one drawing on a sheet. Over-inclusion tends to work for utility patents, but is not useful for design patents.
Another thing to avoid is combining ink and photo patent drawings. Combining photos with ink patent drawings results in inconsistencies in the elements. In addition, it can be difficult to remove ink lines that have been misplaced.
Inventors who submit drawings that are in compliance with these rules fail to explain them in a brief description of the drawings. This can result in a lawsuit against the patent applicant.
In addition, you should avoid submitting informal patent drawings. Informal drawings have low quality and are often just existing reference material. When you submit informal drawings, you run the risk of causing processing delays. Moreover, informal drawings lose their integrity.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as common wisdom dictates. Failing to include a sufficient number of drawings that showcase an invention can be a costly mistake. The USPTO will not grant a patent if the application is filed without the proper drawings.
The goal of a patent application is to explain the invention and allow it to be manufactured by someone of skill in the art. Including patent drawings will save you time and allow you to have a more thorough discussion in your application.
If you do not have drawings that meet the formal requirements, they will be considered “informal.” You must make them conform to the specification. They should be simple enough to reproduce and show the invention in its full and clear form. For example, if you are describing a new method for using a particular product, you must include a schematic drawing. This is because the USPTO requires drawings before a search is conducted.
By failing to include drawings that meet the requirements in an invented, you risk losing your filing date. That can allow another inventor to get rights to the invention. But, if you are careful, you can avoid losing your rights to the invention.
A Patent Attorney can help you decide what to include and what to exclude. He/she will know how to write the specifications, and which claims to focus on. Having these drawings will help explain the invention to the judge or jury.
Licensing your product to an unqualified manufacturer or distributor
It’s not uncommon for an inventor to want to manufacture and sell their own products. If you choose this path, you should know that you’ll need a sizable sum of capital and you’ll also have to invest in marketing your product, which can be an expensive endeavor. An alternative is to license your technology, a practice that can yield more in the long run. A manufacturer or distributor that can handle the logistics of production and distribution is a big time saver. This is especially true if your product has a hefty price tag.
However, an ill-suited licensing agreement can cost you a lot of money, time, and energy. In addition, an agreement with an unqualified company may not be the best choice for your business. Rather than choosing a mediocre manufacturer or distributor, you should seek a more reputable partner.