A patent can create or break one’s business. Along with the success of a business it also determines the potential financial future of it too. If an inventor doesn’t patent his invention and someone else does it, then the inventor would be sued for patent infringement in spite of being the original or first person to invent. A business owner or inventor needs to keep an eye on the mistakes while filing patent application to protect an invention. It is an extremely crucial task and must be executed with utmost sincerity.
Here’s a list of mistakes that can be avoided while filing patent application:
Not Using Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Agreements
To disclose confidential information with the thought in mind of loss of all the creative work that has been done because of a non-enforceable Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is something that can cause a nightmare.
An inventor may wish to disclose his/her invention to an IP Attorney/ Advisor to obtain an idea on the patentability of the invention. At the same time, he is also vulnerable to his creative idea letting go out of his hand to a non-trusted source. In this case, the inventor is required to sign a one-side Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Upon signing the one side NDA, an inventor has the authority to disclose his invention to a party and impose the NDA if the information gets disclosed to a third party. Non-disclosure and non-compete agreements can be drafted by a patent attorney.
However, if information regarding the invention is revealed to a third party party under an NDA, and the third party reveals it to the public in violation of the NDA before the filing date of an application based on the revealed information, that information would be considered as the prior art. Some patent laws give inventors a certain time to file a patent application after such violation occurs. If the application is filed within the given period, the wrongfully disclosed invention is not counted as prior art.
Not Searching for a Prior-Art
Prior-Art is something that is known to the public prior to the inventor’s invention. Before filing an application an extensive prior-art search must be conducted to evaluate the patentability of an invention. An inventor can conduct a patent search on his own using free databases or can approach a patent agent/attorney who would help him find the prior art references that are similar to his invention. The patent application should be structured according to the results of the prior-art search.
Filing Applications at the Wrong Time
Many companies file a patent application either too early or too late. To take full advantage of an intellectual property it is extremely important to determine when to file the patent application.
Some companies or inventors file patent application on every invention immediately after their development. However, what the inventors/companies fail to realize that they have only one year from a patent application’s filing date to file a foreign patent application. The decision as to in which other foreign countries the application can be filed takes months of product marketing and sales to determine if foreign patent protection is cost worthy. Hence filing too early can be a bane.
Conversely, filing a patent application after the inventor/company has made a public disclosure (e.g. offer for sale, seminar, published on a website) will result in the loss of most foreign patent rights.
The best time to file a patent application is thus usually after the invention has been approved for commercial exploitation and prior to any public disclosure of the invention.
Not Taking Advantage of “Provisional” Applications
Many times it happens that an invention is before its stage of maturity and needs some more time to be completed. Or an idea may have flashed across an inventor’s mind but the method of implementation of the idea is unknown to the inventor. It is advisable for an inventor as to not wait for an invention to mature or an idea to get implemented to file a patent application. Both ideas and nascent inventions are precious.
In this stage, an inventor can file a Provisional Patent Application where he is required to submit the known details regarding his invention or format his idea. Submission of claims is not mandatory in a Provisional Patent Application. Filing a Provisional Patent Application secures a filing date also known as the Priority Date. The inventor can furthermore claim a ‘patent pending’ status for his product/invention. Provisional patent applications are a valuable tool for inventors and businesses to preserve their intellectual property rights.
A Complete Specification must be compulsorily filed within twelve months from the Priority Date. The Complete Specification must be inclusive of complete details of the invention along with the claims.
Submitting a Poor Application
Often patent applications get rejected because of the poor draft structure. Inventors are often unaware of the patent law system and end up submitting patent applications that do not meet the requirements of law.
Since patent is a techno-legal document it must be drafted in a manner which should explain the details on how each and every attribute of the invention works in order to solve the technical problem that is suppressed along with the correct usage of patent law. The patent application should be furnished in such a way that a person skilled in the similar domain of art will be able to execute the invention only by going through the description provided. The easiest part to mess up is the patent drawings. Drawings accompanied by detailed description of work method of the invention should be furnished. The Claims that are mentioned in the application must be pertinent and define the boundary of the invention to be patented.
While filing a patent application, it is effective for an inventor to be aware of patent law (which is rarely possible). Thus it is preferable to engage a patent attorney who has a sound idea about the patent law and the patent application filing process. To know more, do visit at our services https://yourpatentteam.com/services/
Is it necessary to take the help of an experienced patent professional to file a patent in India?
Every Start-Ups should avoid these mistakes before filing a Patent in India.