Posts Categorized: Patent Drafting Theory

Use Patents to Protect a Business, Not to Protect an Idea

Are you selecting the right things to patent? It is okay to start with the Big Inventive Idea, but look at the business as a whole to select what actually gets protected.

People come to me with inventive concepts that they want to patent. The engineer or inventor in them relishes the “cool factor” that comes from that incredible moment of conception of the concept. My experience is that the excitement and euphoria over the invention is often palatable years afterward. In fact, there are several of my own inventions that to this day bring goosebumps when I think of that very moment when I came up with the concept.

These concepts are often the ones written up in invention disclosures or used by the independent inventor to start a business.

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Claiming Business Method Patents: Taking Advantage of Long Pendency

I have often wondered the role of business method patents. Today, I was able to attend a very interesting talk by John Doll, the Commissioner for Patents. One thing that the Commissioner pointed out was that there is a 111 month backlog for business method patents. That is almost 10 years worth of backlog. Is this a problem or an opportunity?

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Patent Drafting Styles Change to Meet the Client’s Needs – Building a Portfolio

This post is a third of a series of posts describing patent drafting styles. See the others here and here.

When building a patent portfolio with the intent to sell a company, the main audience is not potential infringers, but the acquiring company. Depending on the situation, the acquiring company may have any of several different reasons for the acquisition.

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Patent Drafting Styles Change to Meet the Client’s Needs – Patents Used for Licensing

This is a second part of a series on different patent drafting styles. The first post dealt with protecting an existing product. The final post deals with developing a portfolio with intent to sell a company.

Patents that are intended for licensing have a distinctively different feel to them and a different method of drafting. Here, our intent is to protect an idea that may potentially be more valuable at the end of the patent life. In this circumstance, we are unable to predict where the technology may change.

Rather than focusing on a product or opportunity, these types of patents identify a concept and develop as many variations or configurations of the concept as possible.

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Bad Provisionals are Really Bad

Provisional applications that are incomplete, “quickly” drafted, or otherwise are incomplete are, in my opinion, some of the most dangerous documents that can be drafted, but also speak to some underlying problems with the attorney’s abilities. The biggest issue is that there is a possibility that the description of the invention is insufficient to support the eventual claims that may accompany a non-provisional application.

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