4 Crucial Steps to Meet Patent Prosecution Deadlines

4 Crucial Steps to Meet Patent Prosecution Deadlines: The process of securing a patent is often complex and involves multiple stages. Therefore, most large organizations either have dedicated Intellectual Property (IP) management teams or hire external IP management partners to take care of all their IP needs. Keeping in mind the patent prosecution process, the core focus of the entities managing IP should be to meet the deadlines. Therefore, this article talks about four key steps to meet patent prosecution deadlines effectively.

What is Patent Prosecution?

Patent prosecution can be defined as a process of arguing for the patentability of invented machines, methods or systems. The process begins with applying for and successfully receiving a patent from the  respective national patent offices such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), European Patent office, Indian Patent office etc. Furthermore, the process entails asserting the novelty of a patent through rigorous scrutiny based on patentability guidelines of the respective patent authority, which is a time-consuming process and includes tight deadlines.

Importance of Meeting Patent Prosecution Deadlines

Deadlines are of extreme significance in any patent office and missing them can lead to abandonment of a patent application. Although the deadlines can be extended, the process can be cost-intensive. Therefore, handling the process in a time-sensitive manner can save that unnecessary expense and effort.

How to Effectively Manage Patent Prosecution Without Missing Deadlines

  1. Understand the Patent Prosecution Process

Each country follows unique patent prosecution processes. But in general, a uniform route map is followed: the process begins with patent filing, moves on to patent examination, and ends with patent acceptance. Individual inventors, as well as organizations, should take assistance from patent prosecution attorneys to navigate through this tedious process and ensure the best results for their hard work.

In case the invention is not novel, inventive or lacks industrial applicability, the examination panel of the respective patent office will issue an objection. If there’s no objection, the patent is issued with full rights granted to the inventor or the organization that has filed for it. Therefore, a better understanding of the patent prosecution process allows individuals or organizations to abide by tight deadlines more efficiently.

2. Know the Timeframes for Patent Prosecution Activites

One way to never miss patent prosecution deadlines set by the respective patent filing authority is to know the timeframe involved in the patent prosecution activities. For example, according to popular legal advice, the Indian Patent Office requires replies for patent examination reports within six months and this can be extended by three months upon prior application. Similarly, submissions for hearings need to be filed 15 days before the date of hearing and patent applicants are not granted more than two hearing adjournments, each of 30 days only.

3. Keep Track of Notices, Circulars, and Updates

Another step crucial for meeting deadlines is to always keep track of the official notices, circulars, and updates issued by the respective patent filing authorities of the region concerned. This needs to be done so that changes in dates of hearing, adjournments, patent examinations, or patent grants can be tracked so as not to miss patent prosecution deadlines.

4. Partner with a Patent Prosecution Support Company

Since the entire process of patent prosecution is complex and time-bound, it is best to partner with a prominent patent prosecution support company that can ensure that organizations effectively manage the important deadlines, derive the maximum benefit from their patent prosecution and enjoy the profits generated by their IP. They can closely monitor the processes of patent prosecution for their clients and provide end-to-end support with their expertise on the same.

Conclusion

Granted patents are a valuable revenue source and therefore organizations should avoid mistakes such as missing the deadlines, which can impede the process of patent prosecution. The above-mentioned steps not only allow seamless management of the patent prosecution process but also boost the probability of a successful patent grant.

Sagacious IP is a leading IP firm that provides organizations with strategic patent prosecution support, enabling them to keep a track of their patent portfolio. Our team of highly-skilled patent practitioners ensures that organizations don’t miss patent prosecution as well as litigation deadlines.

-The Editorial Team

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