Patent Analysis Tools for Objective Application Review
Why is it so hard to be objective when reviewing our work? For patent practitioners, a comprehensive, objective application review before it is submitted to the USPTO—a check on both substance and form—can help to avoid many headaches down the road. Yet, despite the importance of a thorough and objective patent analysis, when patent professionals review their work, their inherent biases often prevent them from being as meticulous and detached as they should be. Not only do self-reviewers tend to gloss over their work with a less-than-critical eye, but they also tend to construe the substance of their own words and arguments in the most positive and advantageous light possible.
If a self-analysis seems too unreliable, then why not simply have another person conduct an objective application review, such as a colleague patent attorney or one of the law firm’s law clerks? Simply put, having a human being review a patent draft critically takes a lot of time and, therefore, money, which raises the upfront expenses for patent clients. Moreover, hiring knowledgeable patent attorneys requires paying hefty hourly rates, but using law clerks, that tend to be much less expensive per hour, comes with its own set of considerations. Namely that a big investment into training law clerks on patent law and procedure is needed before they can provide reliable input as to the quality of patent drafts. Even then, people are imperfect and the most knowledgeable patent professionals may still miss simple mistakes in the patent drafts they review. What is a patent drafter to do?
Objective Application Review With LexisNexis PatentOptimizer®
Filing a patent application without reviewing it thoroughly is not a practical option. The costs of the types of mistakes that can be caught and corrected in the review process far exceed the cost of the time spent reviewing a patent draft. Procedural objections, Section 112 rejections, post-grant challenges, and invalidity assertions during patent infringement litigation are all expensive to overcome and arise most commonly with poorly drafted patent applications. An objective application review is required to avoid unnecessary patent prosecution delays, reduce overall patent prosecution costs, and produce stronger, more defensible patents. So, even though the patent review process should not be avoided, it can be greatly improved by taking it out of the hands of people and turning it over to patent analytics.
The LexisNexis PatentOptimizer® patent drafting tool automates patent reviews and returns an objective application review and analysis to its users. Accessible as a toolbar in several practitioner-favorite word processing programs, such as Microsoft® Word and Adobe® Acrobat®, PatentOptimizer™ offers a wide variety of checks and features for patent draft assessments that are performed more quickly and comprehensively than could be achieved through manual review. Users can quickly spot clerical errors, ambiguous drafting language, and missing antecedents, as well as instantly retrieve patent citation references, check the accuracy and consistency of reference figures, and perform many other critical review tasks. By saving reviewers time and saving clients money, PatentOptimizer leads to higher quality patent drafts and better client relationships.
It is hard to stay objective when reviewing our work but having patent drafts reviewed by other patent professionals is time—and cost—intensive. By automating the patent review process through advanced patent analytics, PatentOptimizer catches critical issues and provides valuable feedback to help produce high-quality patent drafts.
Watch the on-demand webinar Drafting Tips & Techniques to Get and Keep a U.S. Patent to learn more.