At GovGrant, we bring a commercial lens to this process and our job is to keep commercial outcomes in mind. From our knowledge of your business, the R&D, the invention and the patent landscape, we help our clients craft patents that we believe will have a greater focus and prospect of success.
GovGrant has a proven methodology of narrow patents getting through the patent office as quickly and cost effectively as possible. Our driver is commercial, rather than for the purposes of litigation.
We work hand in hand with a Patent Attorney, either through our own network or with a clients preferred attorney to act as the translator between the technical merits and the legal requirements. By following our approach, time and money is saved and the right experts focus on aspects of the process where they bring most value.
Here are a couple of examples of clients who benefited from our holistic view of R&D, IP and innovation during the patent drafting process
Typically, you would need the help of a Patent Attorney to draft your patent application. Your patent application is essentially a legal document. It sets the limit on what technologies you can prohibit others from using, selling, or distributing. Clearly you have to be especially careful that the language used doesn’t limit the scope of protection unnecessarily, or doesn’t get you in legal trouble later down the line. But if you are well versed in ‘patent-ese’ then it is possible for you to draft a patent application by yourself.
A claim within a patent is the process where the inventor is claiming the novel feature of their invention. Most patents have multiple claims as this helps the examiner narrow down what they need to look at and what prior art currently exists. What the examiner needs to satisfy themselves with is that, based on the claims being made, are they unique, novel and new.
Once the claims have been agreed and the patent drafted, this is filed with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). They then have 6 months to review the application and will issue an examiners report which will give the applicant an idea on how likely a patent may be granted for their invention.
There is then a negotiation between the applicant and the examiner to see what can be agreed in the scope of the patent and what is not, these interactions are referred to as office actions. Depending on the patent and what the applicant is trying to achieve this can be quite focused and quick, or it can drag on for many years.
When all is agreed, the patent application is then published. This gives others the opportunity to review and if they disagree with the claims, can object to the application.
If there are no objections or amendments made that then satisfy this, the patent will grant.
To think about a patent, there needs to be a novelty in the process or product that creates new knowledge that doesn’t currently exist. These can be subtle and may be a small change or improvement compared to what currently exists in the market.
Prior art is simply the current knowledge readily known in the market. It is of significant importance, and a common mistake made by many SMEs, that even before a new product hits the market, for instance if it is shown at a trade show, as soon as it’s ‘out there’, it is classed as prior art and the patent opportunity diminishes rapidly.
The patent process is application based, through the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The application usually includes a description of the product or process along with relevant diagrams to demonstrate the inventive step. The IPO will review and ask questions to understand the current knowledge and test the validity of the invention. Once they are satisfied, they will grant the patent which will be in place for up to 20 years.
RL Hartshorn | Managing Director, HL Plastics Limited