HOW TO DRAFT A PATENT APPLICATION
What is important to get a good result?
ANALYSING THE INVENTION AND PRIOR ART
If you have never been involved in the patent filing process before, you might think that it is simply a matter of filling out an application form. However, this is far from the case, and there is a good reason for that. To obtain a patent you need to define how the invention differs from already known inventions and solutions; at the same time, you must try to define the invention as broadly as possible to obtain the best possible scope of protection. These are two competing criteria, and it is, therefore, necessary to thoroughly analyse the invention, comparing it with the prior art, before you start to draft the application.
In the equation are several unknown factors: At the time of filing, you don’t know whether all published documents relevant to the invention have been discovered. If an opponent later finds a relevant document, then the patent needs to be able to ‘withstand’. Also, more times than not you don’t know with certainty whether the invention is fully developed when you file the patent application. Therefore, you need to factor in those possible future variants of the invention as broadly as possible, so that they will also be included in the scope of protection.
THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
- Based on the preliminary analysis, the application must be written strategically to obtain a broad scope of protection and a solid application that can withstand ‘attacks’ in the form of oppositions or lawsuits.
- Even the simplest of technical inventions can be complicated to define with words; especially in such a way that later on, due to new knowledge of prior art and developed variants of the application, a tenacious opponent cannot find holes in the description.
- So, when writing a patent application, you need to look at it as if you were the devil’s advocate, i.e. with the critical eye of an opponent before you declare yourself satisfied with the result.
CHOOSING A STRATEGY
A patent application may be long or short; it can have a narrow or broad protection. The costs connected with the work depend on two things: the thoroughness of the analysis of the invention in terms of prior art; and the thoroughness of the description of the invention’s details and its different variants.
However, you can save money by investing in a strong patent application from the get-go.
If your application is to be pursued in many countries, there are costs involved, no matter how thorough the application has been written. But if the basis of the application is weak, then prosecution in each country can become unnecessarily expensive, because you are not adequately prepared for the prior art that the different patent offices find when they conduct their novelty search.
However, there can also be reasons for going with a brief, precise, and therefore ‘cheap’ patent application. Maybe it doesn’t make sense in your case to fight for a broad scope of protection, or maybe the nature of your invention is not already known and thus can be protected by a short application; or maybe it is already known to such a degree that it cannot be protected in any valuable way, no matter how good and thorough the application is written.
Maybe investors demand that your idea has a patent pending, or maybe it simply holds a commercial value that your product is patented.
Choosing the right strategy is essential so that you don’t end up buying a pig in a poke.
YOUR INVOLVEMENT CAN HELP REDUCE COSTS
If the optimum patent application is a bit out of your budget, then there are several things you can do to reduce some of the costs. For example, if you draw the figures for the application and write a detailed description of the invention in your own words, we will be able to analyse the invention and write the completed application quicker.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
At Guardian we can help you choose the right strategy for filing your patent application; we will make sure to take into account the nature of your invention, your business strategy, and your budget.
We can help you write a good patent application that meets the goals and criteria we have outlined together for the application.
Guardian has one of Denmark’s largest and strongest teams of European Patent Attorneys and European Design Attorneys providing expertise in diverse technical fields. Our experts have many years of experience in all steps of the patent process – so you can put your trust in us to pinpoint your options.
We always strive to make it easy and straightforward for you as a client to obtain the optimum protection of your ideas and inventions. We use the best tools that the world of IP has to offer to protect your company in the best way possible. We like to understand both the business part of your company as well as the technical details of your invention or the visual impression of your product; this way we can help you obtain the IP rights that truly give value to you and your company.
Read more: What does it take to get a patent?
Please feel free to contact us. Guardian has one of Denmark’s largest and strongest teams of European Patent Attorneys and European Design Attorneys providing expertise in diverse technical fields. Reach out for us for a non-binding conversation.
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