29 Aug 2018

Common Errors found in Patent and its Implications

It can be very costly to fix errors in issued patents, which are often left over in a patent, during its drafting or prosecution; some errors, for example, incorrect dependencies in claims, might significantly limit even the scope of the patent or lead to its revocation post grant. Sometimes extra fees, delays, denial of patents, or invalidation of awarded patents results due to errors in patents. Therefore, it is very crucial, although a laborious task, to proofread patent applications to identify discrepancies in patent claims and specifications, such as missing antecedent references, claim numbering, incorrect status indicators, or inconsistent numbering of the claims.

Errors in a patent are diverse; and are of varying nature depending on the stage they are crept in –
Beginning with the Face Page which constitutes the bibliographical information, errors in this segment are critical in nature such as incorrect names of inventors, attorneys or assignees (generally spelling mistake), or missing any amendments during the prosecution, such as change of the names of the above or insertion or deletion of the same. Similar is the nature of errors in case of specification, drawings and claims.

The impacts of the errors in the various parts of a patent are different. Any error on the face page is potentially grave in nature. Error in the priority information might lead to serious repercussion which even results in abandonment of a patent. Similarly, errors in the names of inventor, attorney, assignee are very crucial part of a patent which might cause confusion if found incorrect.
Another kind of errors are found in List of references cited, they are also very critical as incorrect or any missing citations may jeopardizes the validity of the patent, leading to conclusions such as the invention is not novel and has been cited earlier.

As the component must be depicted generically in the drawing, errors in the specification and drawings are equally important and any omission of any one of these component parts or wrongly incorporated components or any spelling mistake may misrepresent the invention or even change the scope of the invention.

It has been at times seen that reference numerals in drawings which pictographically explains the invention refers incorrect components in the invention -.

Claims are the part of a patent specification that defines the legal scope of the protection sought by an inventor. USPTO requires that, each and every claim must be clear and concise and supported by the description. Hence, it is the most essential constituent of the patent and any error in this part of the patent such as incorrect dependency, missing claims and inconsistent numbering of the claims can impair the enforceability of the patent and can prove detrimental to the interests of the owner of the patent incurring financial losses as well.

Errors in the patents might prove fatal and bring uninvited trouble to the owner of the patent. So, in order to avoid such unpleasant circumstances proofreading of a granted patent or a patent application becomes inevitable.

Effectual Services (www.effectualservices.com) patent proofreading process follows an extremely detailed analysis of a patent’s prosecution history to identify any PTO or applicant errors. Our team members run thorough manual as well as automated checks simultaneously to ensure that a patent is free of any errors. Our proofreaders have in-depth knowledge of Patent laws and are also trained in Patent drafting best practices for various jurisdictions, including US and EP.

We also prepare ready to file Certificate of Correction that can be filed with the PTOs saving your precious time.

For more information, please write to us at info@effectualservices.com

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