Practical Tips for Patent Drafting

Another Use For Provisionals

Provisional patent applications give the inventor the right to label a product “Patent Pending”, which can have enormous business effects. The mere label of “Patent Pending” can be enough deterrent to keep competitors out of a business arena.

Provisional applications can be obtained with very little disclosure. In theory, a cocktail napkin with a figure and a little description may even suffice.

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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 Incentive Programs

Before becoming a patent agent, I was a design engineer in several different companies, each having some sort of patent incentive program to compensate inventors.

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Extracting the Invention from the Inventor

One of the most intriguing parts of my job is coming to understand an invention with the inventor. By definition, the inventor has broken some new ground in their field of expertise and it is my job to extract the important features and define them in a way that makes sense to them, a person of ordinary skill in the art, as well as the patent examiner.

This exercise is one of the most enjoyable parts of the job when it goes well, and one of the most miserable when it does not.

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