When Should You Opt for Patent Proofreading?

When Should You Opt for Patent Proofreading? : Obtaining a patent for a novel invention is a complex, time consuming and expensive process. Even minute errors can impact your application leading to office action or patent rejection. Therefore, an application or an issued patent should be reviewed carefully to withstand patent examination and present a strong case. Patent proofreading is an essential process which ensures identification and correction of errors that saves time, cost, mitigates the risks for applicants and ensures patent enforceability.

When can Patent Proofreading be Performed?

Irrespective of whether the USPTO or the applicant has committed the errors, the responsibility of resolving these errors lies on the applicant. Patent Proofreading verifies the issued patents against the patent application and all amendments. A patent can be a lengthy document with sometimes over 100 pages; therefore, it can be a time consuming and expensive process. Errors in the patent application may occur on the face page, in the claim section or in the entire specification including drawings. Proofreading can therefore be performed at the following stages:

  1. Before filing the application
  2. Once the patent application is published
  3. When a PCT application is nationalized in US
  4. Once the patent is approved (Notice of allowance stage)
  5. Once the patent is issued

Pre-grant Patent Proofreading

Thoroughly proofreading the applications before submitting them to the patent office prevents receipt of formal letters for them. These formal letters include receipt of notices to file corrected applications, notices to file missing parts etc., thereby saving time and costs. It also reduces the chances of examiners raising concerns or patent rejection due to the errors.

Post-grant Patent Proofreading

Issued patents are legal documents which must be devoid of errors particularly in the claims section. Therefore, such issued patents must be minutely proofread to ensure that there are no errors in the documents. Such errors can be made either by the prosecuting office or the patentee. Furthermore, it is essential to ensure that all the amendments that are done in the specification, claims and drawings are properly incorporated in the issued patents. Since the USPTO does not provide a copy of the patent text to the patent applicants before final printing, therefore, the errors that occur in the published patent are usually flagged using a Certificate of Correction (CoC) that is appended to the published patent.

Certification of correction for an Applicant’s mistake

Whenever a clerical or typographical mistake made by the applicant appears in a patent and a showing has been made that such a mistake was unintentionally made, the Director may issue a certificate of correction upon payment of the mandatory fee (provided the correction does not involve changes in the patent that would constitute as a new matter or would require reexamination). Such a patent along with the certificate of correction, will have the same effect and operation in law on the trial of actions, as if the same had been originally issued in such corrected form.

Conclusion

The proofreading process is an important step which can be conducted either pre-grant or post-grant of a patent. It helps enable the correction of significant or insignificant errors affecting the enforceability of patents. Sagacious IP’s Patent Proofreading service enables you to detect errors in an issued patent by cross examination of communication documents stored in the IFW document of USPTO Public. Click here to know more about this service.

-The IPMS and Editorial Team

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