Drafting patents?, not that easy!


It has been a long time since we last published something in this section, but it is very understandable because, as you will see, we are busy drafting patents.

When we want to buy a product, such as a garment, a book or a piece of furniture, and we go shopping, we ask the store clerks, we listen carefully to their explanations and comments, showing interest in what we are buying until we decide to buy the object, or leave the shop wishing them a pleasant day. If we have purchased the product we pay for it, enjoy it, use it and we have a clear idea of ​​what we expect from our purchase.

This is the real, everyday life for all of us. But let’s talk about patents! None of the above works with patents. “Patent clients” are different, even if they are the same people who just bought the furniture or the book, they are transformed when it comes to placing an order for a patent application draft. It’s something similar to what happens when we get behind the wheel …

As “patent-drafting-persons” we undertake a philosophical approach when tackling the situation that can develop more or less as follows (with many other alternatives):

You receive an order to draft a patent application, you read it carefully, understand the gist of the invention – not piece of cake! – prepare a first version with carefully prepared comments and questions, and send it to the client. Wait!.

Two weeks later you get almost the same version that you sent. Or you get some vague answers like “this is explained below” …. where?, “this is known in the art ...”, “we have not checked that ..”.

And again, after a deep breath and no less deep reflection about the questions you asked, you check everything to check whether you can read the answers between the lines. You do not want to be a pain in the neck, but you know you are being such one, or the client will perceive it like this. For the sake of quality and for your own dignity, you take deep breath again, maybe some more coffee and you click once more the return key to forward a draft to the client, that has as many questions as the first one.

Several days pass and while you are working on another subject you are surprised by an email. Instantly several thoughts cross your mind about the possibility that the client has finally answered your questions, or has he been disappointed, and will say that you are not being helpful, or even worse, that he does not understand your work, and that he is going to work with somebody else ….upon you having done the hardest task!.

At best, let’s go with the third version!. You try to highlight less fragments in the text … it seems that things are getting better and you start to envisage the end. Click!, message sent!.

You receive the client’s reponse and the text looks now clean, the explanation of the technical matter looks to be complete.There are no more examples to give further support to the claims, therefore you can do nothing more. Of course, you relax as you think you have finished the job. After the sort of ping-pong match in which you lost some neurons (he/she is completely unaware of that), the client suddenly becomes particularly picky, and ask you to correct two blank spaces and a comma on page 14, line 7. Are you kidding me?.

There is another less refreshing end, which is when the client adds a paragraph where he/she feels like it, that reads: “it also can be used to roast chickens in case the rectangular piece is removed …”. Oh, my God!. You pretend not to have seen it, but you are a professional who knows that nothing can be left to chance in patent matters. So, you are decided to re-start the ping-pong match even if there will be an invention disclosure within two days. You can  make it!

You would better not try making any balance. This work is never well paid!. Good luck!

Seni Cueto

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