Practical Tips for Patent Drafting

Working Within a Budget

Along the lines of the embedded patent attorney concept, I often work with my clients to develop a budget for patent protection, then map a strategy to get the best bang for the buck.

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Vagueness in the Written Description

One of the biggest challenges in writing the written description is that it is almost impossible to guess how the invention might be used over the next twenty years, which is the life of the patent. Especially in developing technologies, what makes sense today may be turned on its ear by changes in technology or the market. However, reading that crystal ball is essential for good patent protection.

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Background Section of a Patent and the Real Prior Art

Ask ten different patent practitioners about how they write their background sections and you may get ten different answers. After taking care of the bare minimum requirements, the differences tend to come down to personal style. This is an explanation of my personal style.

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A Few Pointers on How to Review a Patent Application

For the uninitiated, the typical patent application is a very verbose and sometimes awkwardly written document that appears to describe an invention. Each section has its own particular necessary purpose and content. Some of the reasons for the content and wording are legacies from court cases, rulings by the Patent Office, and just plain old habit and preferences of the drafter.

In general, the drafter intends to put the invention in its best light, highlighting the essential elements of the invention while not limiting the invention to the exact description shown. Remember, that the patent may be enforced 15 years later when technology has developed in unexpected and unanticipated ways.

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