Three Common Mistakes During the Patent Drafting Process

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Inventors and entrepreneurs make a number of patent drafting mistakes while looking to patent their inventions. This post will focus on the three most common errors to avoid at all costs during your patent application process.

Three Common Mistakes During the Patent Drafting Process

1. Sharing proprietary information before filing

You may not know this, but if you publicly disclosing your invention before you have a patent application filed, you’ll likely lose the right to file for a patent either in the US or abroad. The United States has one year grace period to file for a patent after public disclosure, but other countries do not. Nevertheless, you still may need to disclose certain information to investors, for marketing or sales purposes, and so on. If you must share some information about your product to 3rd parties, make sure to have an NDA in a place where applicable and try to file a patent application prior to that date. If you are running out of time, at least get a provisional application on file.

2. Overlooking international infringement and competition

These days, focusing exclusively on the US is not enough. For many US inventors, consideration of international competition is irrelevant until they intend to take their invention overseas. Unfortunately, failure to protect your invention outside of US can prove to be a fatal mistake. Irrespective of whether you intend to take your invention international or not, you still need to carefully consider whether to file patents abroad in at least several foreign markets where you think are most likely to sell. If you are not sure where to protect your IP, consider filing a PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application which will allow you to file a single application that can later be turned into individual national applications in contracting states (i.e., most of the world).

3. Failing to ask for help

Last but not least, failing to ask for help when support is clearly needed is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. For the most part, you’ll typically find the whole process much easier to handle with a premier patent drafting software suite, in conjunction with other approved patent drafting tools. Nevertheless, should you find yourself at an impasse – or simply have no idea what it is you’re doing – you may need professional legal counsel, such as a patent attorney or agent, to take things any further.

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