09-The U.S. Patent Process: Conception to Filing


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  • Thanks for the info, very helpful. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a “2013 Copyright PTO/SB/16, [03-13]”, I found a blank form here: "www.uspto.gov" and also here "Form Sheet fillable"
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09-The U.S. Patent Process: Conception to Filing

  1. 1. The U.S. Patent Process: Conception to Filing Kristine H. Johnson MacMillan, Sobanski & Todd, LLC [email_address]
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Patentability rules: technical and unforgiving </li></ul><ul><li>Dates are critical </li></ul><ul><li>Delay is a significant risk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Barring events </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Activities of inventor may foreclose patent protection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. vs. non-US activities </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>The patent process should be handled very carefully! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Good idea  Patent Filing <ul><li>General timeline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific research and discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure of the discovery to TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of the disclosure by TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final draft of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing provisional or PCT or national application </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Good idea  Patent Filing <ul><li>General timeline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific research and discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure of the discovery to TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of the disclosure by TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final draft of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing provisional or PCT or national application </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Scientific research and discovery <ul><li>Funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If US funded, need to state in patent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Record keeping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sign and countersign, date </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reporting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not usually a tech transfer function (grants & contracts admin) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Record Keeping Notes <ul><li>Schedule regular reminders and instruction on patent-worthy recordkeeping for researchers (some attorneys will do this for free) </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual property policy should address notebook and data retention </li></ul><ul><li>Notebooks and data “walk away” fairly often – at least have a copy! </li></ul>
  8. 8. Good idea  Patent Filing <ul><li>General timeline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific research and discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure of the discovery to TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of the disclosure by TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final draft of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing provisional or PCT or national application </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Disclosure of the discovery to TTO <ul><li>This is a money-saving stage – if done right </li></ul><ul><li>Get documents in editable form (MSWord, not PDF) </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for all of the elements of a patent application – details! </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for licensing contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Ask patent attorneys for suggestions on time saving measures at this stage </li></ul>A good offense is better than a good defense! Great disclosure equals
  10. 10. Good idea  Patent Filing <ul><li>General timeline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific research and discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure of the discovery to TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of the disclosure by TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final draft of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing provisional or PCT or national application </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Evaluation of the disclosure by TTO <ul><li>Science value </li></ul><ul><li>Patentability </li></ul><ul><li>Market value </li></ul><ul><li>Are interrelated but do not fully overlap. </li></ul>It takes “experience” to judge market value!
  12. 12. Evaluation of the disclosure by TTO <ul><li>Don’t be misled by who is talking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientists value science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patent attorneys are sometimes scientist-thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patent attorneys are often noncommittal on the law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First adopters love everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk adverse people hate everything </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most important: actual value in today’s market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Licensable, profitable scope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social-only valuation is legitimate for US universities (Bayh-Dole – “for the benefit of the public”) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Patentability Evaluation <ul><li>What is “Prior Art?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determined by law , not strictly time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anything that is publicly known, published, publicly used, or sold in this country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anything published or patented here or elsewhere in the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That came BEFORE your invention (applies to both above) </li></ul></ul>DANGER: Using the term “prior art” is an admission / statement against legal interest! Get in the habit of saying “reference” or “disclosure”
  14. 14. Patentability Evaluation <ul><li>Duty to disclose prior art </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a duty to search </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why search? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May give the inventors a “better idea” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps the patent attorney and the inventor define the invention in the specification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uncovers what the Examiner may find </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Saves time and money </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Patentability Evaluation <ul><li>Two Ways that Prior Art is Created: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Things the inventor does </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Things that others do </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Patentability Evaluation <ul><li>Things the inventor does </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What starts the “clock” ticking? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4 “triggering events” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public Disclosures </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public Use </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sale </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offers for Sale </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fact Specific Inquiry </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the clock starts, it can’t be stopped! </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Patentability Evaluation <ul><li>Things others do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publicly Known </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Before the date of your invention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One year before the U.S. filing date </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can’t do anything about this </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best to know what’s out there </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>lowers costs </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>helps identify what your “patentable invention” can be </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Patentability Evaluation <ul><li>What does obviousness mean to an inventor? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Almost always, different from what it means in patent law. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their answer depends on their ego and scientific indoctrination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Either ask the patent attorney to evaluate obviousness or file without asking </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Patentability Evaluation <ul><li>What information will help overcome an obviousness rejection? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching away, long-felt need, superior results over closest comparator, great difficulty in obtaining, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get this information during the disclosure stage (saves money!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But watch out for admissions / statements against interest </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Patent Searching <ul><li>U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (uspto.gov) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wealth of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key word searching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ep.espacenet.com for non-US patents </li></ul><ul><li>Google Patents (3 month lag) </li></ul><ul><li>Searcher in Wash. DC </li></ul>
  21. 21. What to Look for in a Search <ul><li>Would my invention infringe patents of others? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at claims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unexpired patents only </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is my invention patentable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All U.S. patents back to 1790 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worldwide patents and publications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any language </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Good idea  Patent Filing <ul><li>General timeline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific research and discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure of the discovery to TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of the disclosure by TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final draft of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing provisional or PCT or national application </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Choosing a patent drafter <ul><li>Who is allowed by law to draft a patent application? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scientist </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technology transfer professional </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-house attorney or agent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outside attorney or agent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Patent litigator </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trained (or untrained) monkey </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Who is allowed by law to file a patent application? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An applicant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A registered patent agent or patent attorney </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Choosing a patent drafter <ul><li>Who should draft your patent application? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A “patent prosecutor;” a registered patent agent or attorney who specializes in patent drafting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>With a pertinent science background </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who understands your organization and the PTO </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who communicates the way you prefer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not hire a patent litigator for patent drafting – too expensive and less effective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not hire based solely on scientist preference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patent prosecutors are notoriously introverted, so do not judge their drafting effectiveness by their personality </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. How I, a lawyer, hire lawyers <ul><li>Do they have the appropriate technical and legal background? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they listen and reflect back to me what my goals are? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they offer their opinion, not just options? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they find ways to save me money? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they tell me when they do not know something? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they return my emails and phone calls promptly? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I important to them as a client? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they know the “right” people for my goals? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they demonstrate an ethical worldview? </li></ul><ul><li>I have hired $150/hour lawyers for litigation who were just as effective as a $500/hour regulatory lawyer (who was also effective for the particular job at hand). </li></ul>
  26. 26. The Parts of a Patent: <ul><ul><li>Drawings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summary of </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the invention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Description of </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the drawings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Detailed description </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>of the invention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Claims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each claim written as one sentence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the “metes and bounds” of the invention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Independent and dependent forms </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Choosing a patent application type <ul><li>“Cover sheet” provisional </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional with added disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional with added claims </li></ul><ul><li>Fully-prepped application, filed as provisional </li></ul><ul><li>Fully prepped application, filed as PCT or US only </li></ul>
  28. 28. “ Cover sheet” provisional <ul><li>File a manuscript/powerpoint/poster </li></ul><ul><li>Only in emergencies </li></ul><ul><li>Often contain admissions/statements against interest “As, expected, our results confirm…” </li></ul><ul><li>Causes problems later (102, 103, 112) </li></ul><ul><li>Not much marketing value </li></ul><ul><li>Creates confusion with inventors </li></ul><ul><li>Attorneys fret about the liability/benefit </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes the only option </li></ul><ul><li>Requires immediate follow-up </li></ul><ul><li>Can be done in-house, cheap </li></ul>Attorney Report Card Effort: D Effectiveness: D Expense: A
  29. 29. Provisional with added disclosure <ul><li>File manuscript/power point/poster and a document that describes pertinent processes, generically </li></ul><ul><li>Some attorneys advocate this as preferred method – no claims </li></ul><ul><li>May still have problems with later claim amendments </li></ul><ul><li>Can be done in-house, but a bit more difficult than a cover sheet provisional </li></ul>Attorney Report Card Effort: C Effectiveness: C Expense: B Better than cover sheet only
  30. 30. Provisional with added claims <ul><li>Focuses discussion on a licensable scope </li></ul><ul><li>Better marketing tool </li></ul><ul><li>Forces use of words that might not otherwise be included – antecedent basis </li></ul><ul><li>Might have other 112 problems later </li></ul><ul><li>Best to have a patent agent/attorney draft claims </li></ul>Best practice, given little time to file  Attorney Report Card Effort: B Effectiveness: B Expense: B
  31. 31. Fully-prepped application, filed as provisional <ul><li>More expensive </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to meet statutory requirements and not cause problems in the future </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t create (as much) confusion with inventors as cover sheet provisionals do </li></ul><ul><li>Ordinarily not prepared in-house </li></ul><ul><li>Anything less than two weeks lead time is often considered a rush on these, but a decent patent application can be accomplished in twenty to sixty hours. </li></ul>Attorney Report Card Effort: A Effectiveness: A Expense: C
  32. 32. Fully-prepped application, filed first as PCT or US-only <ul><li>Same lawyer/draftsman/sequence listing service fees as filing provisional </li></ul><ul><li>Higher government filing fees </li></ul><ul><li>Will be reviewed by PTO </li></ul><ul><li>Not a good strategy for pharmaceuticals (need the extra year at the end of the patent life) </li></ul><ul><li>Might be very important to speed prosecution for other technologies </li></ul>Attorney Report Card Effort: A Effectiveness: A Expense: C
  33. 33. The well-written patent application <ul><li>Describes the invention so one of ordinary skill can understand it </li></ul><ul><li>Discloses the best mode </li></ul><ul><li>Provides support for claims of unknown scope </li></ul><ul><li>Claims narrow enough to avoid prior art and prove literal infringement </li></ul><ul><li>Claims broad enough to hamper design around </li></ul><ul><li>A variety of claims to different uses, to create marketing and licensing options </li></ul>
  34. 34. The well-written patent application <ul><li>Claims clear enough to provide notice of infringement </li></ul><ul><li>Factually accurate </li></ul><ul><li>Suitable vehicle for foreign filing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But is impossible to comply fully with all countries’ requirements in one document </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tells a compelling story </li></ul>
  35. 35. The well-written patent application <ul><li>Tells a compelling story of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The cast of characters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The prior art (don’t call it that, though!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likely users of the technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our hero - the inventor(s) </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. The well-written patent application <ul><li>The “Background of the Invention” provides the setting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unfulfilled needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failures of others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems with the prior art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serious nature of the problem </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. The well-written patent application <ul><li>But . . . “what you say may be used against you in a court of law” </li></ul><ul><li>Three pitfalls to avoid in the background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclaimer via “criticism and disavowal” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Written description – failure of claimed subject matter to address at least one state problem or object </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of stated problems to support allegations of obviousness </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. The well-written patent application <ul><li>A patent may have its own dictionary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ As used herein, the term X means Y” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicant’s definition controls claim interpretation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is a good quality control item for reviewing patent prosecutor’s work: Do the claims have key terms that are not defined or discussed in the specification? Is this omission intentional? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If a term is not defined, then the meaning that one of ordinary skill in the art would give it applies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes, this is actually a better strategy than defining the term. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Disclosed but unclaimed subject matter <ul><li>Disclosed but unclaimed subject matter is “dedicated to the public” </li></ul><ul><li>Maxwell v. J. Baker, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Solution is preparation of a comprehensive set of claims </li></ul>
  40. 40. 37 C.F.R. §1.56 Duty of candor <ul><li>Misrepresentations, misleading statements, and omissions violate the duty of candor and good faith. </li></ul><ul><li>Result is that the patent may be held unenforceable due to “inequitable conduct” </li></ul><ul><li>This is why patent attorneys get jumpy about filing cover sheet provisional patent applications! </li></ul>More cover sheet provisionals? Did I pay my malpractice insurance premium?
  41. 41. Inequitable conduct is scary! <ul><li>Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. v. Promega </li></ul><ul><li>Specification contained an “example” implying that an experiment had been conducted and results obtained </li></ul><ul><li>The “example” was theoretical (prophetic) and never actually performed </li></ul><ul><li>Result was that the patent was held unenforceable due to inequitable conduct </li></ul>
  42. 42. Note on US / non-US patent drafting interface <ul><li>EPO and JPO - problem/solution approach to determine inventive step (obviousness) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Telling the story of invention in the application will provide a good basis to meet this requirement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EPO - strict interpretation of “new matter” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited ability to amend </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solution is to draft comprehensive claim set </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Good idea  Patent Filing <ul><li>General timeline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific research and discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure of the discovery to TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of the disclosure by TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final draft of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing provisional or PCT or national application </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Final draft of patent application <ul><li>Inventors need to review the final draft </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To check if all potential uses are indicated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To check if anyone else should be named as an inventor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To check for false statements or omissions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because they must attest to being an inventor of the filed document </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Good idea  Patent Filing <ul><li>General timeline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific research and discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure of the discovery to TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of the disclosure by TTO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final draft of patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing provisional or PCT or national application </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Deadlines <ul><li>U.S. -- file by one year from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sale or offer for sale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>public or commercial use or disclosure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>World -- file before public use or disclosure </li></ul>
  47. 47. Provisional Applications §111(b) <ul><li>Act as a “placeholder” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Never substantively examined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatically lapse or mature one year from the filing date </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Once filed, applicants can mark “patent pending” </li></ul><ul><li>Can not claim priority from another appln. </li></ul><ul><li>Patent term measured from filing date of subsequent non-provisional application (bonus year!) </li></ul>
  48. 48. Provisional filing requirements <ul><li>Required </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A specification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A drawing (if required to understand the invention) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A cover sheet or cover letter naming inventors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fee </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NOT Required </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A claim </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An oath or declaration (37 C.F.R. §1.63) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An IDS </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. Provisionals as a basis for priority <ul><li>US Priority </li></ul><ul><ul><li>35 U.S.C. §119(e) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-US Priority (PCT and National) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Article 4 of the Paris Convention </li></ul></ul>
  50. 50. Provisionals & US Priority <ul><li>Requirements to perfect priority to provisional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-provisional application (35 U.S.C. §111(a)) filed within 12 months of the filing date of the provisional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At least one common inventor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to the provisional application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provisional application must satisfy §112 ¶1 for 112, the invention claimed in the subsequent non-provisional application </li></ul></ul>
  51. 51. Yet another crazy warning about cover sheet provisionals <ul><li>New Railhead Manufacturing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patent claimed drill bit with certain angle between the bit and its housing </li></ul></ul>*Sales >1 Yr.* Jan 96 Jan 98 Jan 97 Sales spring/ summer 96 2/97 - File Provisional 11/97- File Utility
  52. 52. New Railhead Provisional <ul><li>Court found that the disclosure of the provisional application did not meet the written description requirement with respect to the subsequently claimed drill bit angle </li></ul><ul><li>Applicant not entitled to priority back to the filing date of the provisional application (limited to 11/97 filing date) </li></ul><ul><li>Sales occurred more than one year prior to the 11/97 date, thus patent invalid under 35 U S C §102(b) </li></ul>Invalid!
  53. 53. Provisionals & Non-US Priority <ul><li>Article 4 of the Paris Convention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A “regular national filing” in one country provides a basis for a priority claim in an application filed within 12 months in another member country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governs priority claims in PCT applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provisional applications are considered a regular national filing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must file PCT/foreign application(s) within 1 year of the filing date of the provisional application. </li></ul></ul>
  54. 54. Patent filing procedures <ul><li>Choices for accomplishing a filing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>USPS First Class Mail (Date Received at USPTO) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hand Delivery (Date Received at PTO Window) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USPS Express Mail (Date Received at Post Office) in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Itemized Post Card with Return Postage as proof of mailing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e-Filing (EFS Filing Receipt EST) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new initial application may not be filed via fax. </li></ul></ul>
  55. 55. Best Filing Practices – Non-provisional filing <ul><li>Specification with at least one claim </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract </li></ul><ul><li>Oath and Declaration of inventors, naming all, with home address and citizenship (Executed) </li></ul><ul><li>Fee (with Fee Transmittal) </li></ul><ul><li>Priority Claim (if appropriate) </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment (may wait until after filing) </li></ul><ul><li>Post Card if Filing Express Mail </li></ul><ul><li>ADS-Application Data Sheet (if e-filed) </li></ul><ul><li>Transmittal (if paper filing) </li></ul><ul><li>IDS- Information Disclosure Statement </li></ul>
  56. 56. Note on Order of Inventors <ul><li>Order of inventors is of NO legal consequence </li></ul><ul><li>But make no mistake – it is of significant social/political consequence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Petition may be made under 37 CFR 1.183 to change order. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communicate inventor order preference to patent drafter </li></ul><ul><li>Consider having an “alphabetical order” policy, but it won’t eliminate all problems </li></ul>
  57. 57. Application Data Sheet <ul><li>What is an “ADS”? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicant Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correspondence Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representative Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domestic Priority Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foreign Priority Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assignee Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces Filing Receipt Errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By getting data directly into USPTO computers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Old way- OCR & Scanned form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current Way – metadata in special PDF form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USPTO Form SB14 Application Data Sheet </li></ul></ul>
  58. 58. Why use an ADS <ul><li>Not mandatory, however: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces Filing Receipt Errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensures complete application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows Direct Input of Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows some guidance as to Technology Center/Class </li></ul></ul>
  59. 59. File an Application in EFS <ul><li>Benefits of EFS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drawings come in perfectly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instant serial number </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No chance of mailing loss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminates Transmittals (for the most part) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No Pesky Postcards to look for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay Fees Instantly </li></ul></ul>
  60. 60. E-Filing - Procedural Suggestions <ul><li>Print Online Receipt and Place in File </li></ul><ul><li>Check IFW files in PAIR to see what was filed with the USPTO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Print THAT Copy & put into the File Jacket </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Directory (redundant-Word & IFW) </li></ul><ul><li>Print PDF Receipt in IFW and Place in File </li></ul>
  61. 61. More information on electronic filing <ul><li>The EBC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/index.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EFS Web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/efs_help.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>USPTO EFS Sandbox (practice) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/portal/tutorials.htm </li></ul></ul>
  62. 62. Questions? Please ask! Thank you to Ms. Jenna Cogswell at MST who helped prepare these slides! Contact us at [email_address] or 419.255.5900 for permission to use these slides, or to ask questions. We are happy to let others use these slides, but we would like to know who they helped.