A Practitioner’s Mission to Improve Prosecution Results
Who would have thought that “search and rescue” could find its way into a patent attorney’s job description? While the patent version of a search and rescue may not be as dangerous or adventurous as the real deal, changing our perspective on the work that we do can motivate us to reassess our methods and inspire us to improve the results we obtain in patent prosecution. As for tools that make patent professionals better patent searchers and rescuers? We have two in mind that meet the challenge.
Search: Anticipating the Dangers Ahead
While the searches performed by heroes in the field are intended to save people from danger, it is a patent searcher’s objective to seek out “danger” itself. Patentability searches, in particular, are conducted to find any prior art references that could be the basis for rejection by a USPTO patent examiner that would then delay the patent process, create additional expenses for the patent applicant or even stop patent prosecution cold in its tracks. Finding relevant and material prior art references before filing a patent application can inform patent professionals as to how to adapt specifications and claim language to reduce the odds of receiving a rejection. They can also help patent practitioners anticipate an examiner’s rejections to inform their prosecution strategy or develop counterarguments to rebut the arguments of the examiner.
Prior art references that could impact patentability could be hidden anywhere in the world. As a result, patent practitioners conduct their searches with enough geographic breadth—and they must do an excellent job sifting through all of the harmless prior art references they come across—to ensure that they uncover the references that are material to the patentability of their invention. With this in mind, the LexisNexis TotalPatent One® search platform helps patent professionals improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of their patent searches. By providing TotalPatent One® users with the world’s most complete patent database, patent practitioners can simultaneously access full-text patent documents filed with different patent authorities. Intuitive features like query builders, search filters and document previews help users quickly identify the prior art references that apply to their case.
Rescue: Preempting Mistakes and Circumventing Challenges
The final opportunity to rescue a patent application draft comes during the time just before submission, when professionals have a final opportunity to review and improve upon their drafts. The LexisNexis PatentOptimizer® patent drafting tool is capable of quickly conducting thorough analyses of patent documents. The capabilities of PatentOptimizer® go far beyond merely checking for drafting errors. PatentOptimizer helps ensure that patent parts and references are consistent, compares claim elements, terms and phrases, and even checks for ambiguities and missing antecedents, among many other features. Patent professionals who use PatentOptimizer can reduce the number of rejections and Section 112 objections they receive from the USPTO. By conducting patent reviews with PatentOptimizer, patent professionals can rescue their patent applications from unnecessary obstacles, and their clients from unnecessary expense.
It is time to add “search and rescue” to your repertoire of patent prosecution skills. TotalPatent One facilitates efficient, global patent searches for hidden dangers along the path to patent issuance, and PatentOptimizer rescues patent drafts from office actions that threaten the course of patent prosecution. Used together, TotalPatent One and PatentOptimizer help patent professionals develop smarter patent strategies and execute their mission more effectively.
For more on TotalPatent One read Assessing Patent Rights in a Global Market and Patent Search Tools: The Difference a Folder Can Make. For training documents and videos click here.
For more on PatentOptimizer read Avoiding Section 112(b) Rejections With Patent Drafting Tools and Reducing Costs by Investing in Patent Quality. For patent drafting resources click here.