Integration of Automation in the Patent Process
Automation has come a long way in a short amount of time, thanks to developments in big data, machine learning, robotics and the Internet of Things. Many people and businesses have grown accustomed to having software and machines perform tasks that humans once handled. Professionals, in particular, have a lot to gain from automation, which can quickly resolve tedious and repetitive work and easily handle some complex chores. For patent professionals curious about how they can benefit from automation, there are several opportunities for incorporating automation into pre-filing and post-filing patent services. The integration of automation in the patent process can reduce the occurrence of human errors, help to optimize time and enable more efficient operations.
Automation in the Patent Process: Information Disclosure Statements
Patent professionals often need to submit an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), along with their patent application, to fulfill their “duty of candor.” This duty requires patent applicants to provide their patent examiners with any information they have come across that could affect patentability. Each IDS form requests information about U.S. patents and published patent applications, as well as foreign patent documents. Although completing an IDS form is basically just a matter of data entry, it can be quite daunting and time-consuming to input information for each material prior art reference that is known (such as patent document numbers, patent issue dates, patentee information, etc.). For LexisNexis PatentOptimizer® patent drafting tool users, PatentOptimizer® integrates automation in the patent process by automatically populating IDS form information using USPTO patent data after being provided with a list containing only patent document numbers.
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The Prosecution Guidebook’s Auto-Advice
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