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Comprehensive patentability search and analysis of an invention involves searching worldwide databases for relevant prior art references based on identified novel elements of the invention and analyzing each of the references against the novel elements. Analysis includes citing relevant portions of text from the references, and comparative analysis of how the novel elements map on to the references.
Patentability search and analysis is extremely useful in helping our clients take decisions with respect to filing a patent application for their invention. The study helps in ascertaining the probability of a patent grant to an invention. Further, it helps in understanding the scope of protection that might be derived if a patent is granted to the invention. Furthermore, it helps in drafting patent specification that may get granted with lesser hassle.
We also provide a rating that suggests the chances of obtaining patent rights for an invention.
Complete specification drafting includes preparing ready to file specification with relevant claims covering the subject matter, detailed drawings, and description. We take specific care to ensure that all necessary embodiments are covered in the description to provide maximum breadth to the scope of the claims. Before starting on drafting a specification, our analysts engaging at least one technical discussion with the inventor(s) to ensure that the invention is understood properly.
Our approach to provisional specifications is no different from our approach to complete (or non-provisional) specifications. We try to prepare detailed provisional specifications and include maximum possible information to ensure that the claims in ensuing complete (or non-provisional) specifications have enough support. In fact, we write shadow claims even at the stage of drafting provisional specification to ensure that right specification is prepared.
A divisional patent application is a type of patent application which contains matter from a previously filed application. Whilst a divisional application is filed later than the parent application, it may retain its parent's filing date, and will generally claim the same priority
Patents of addition are granted for novel improvements or modifications to an invention which is already covered by a granted standard patent of invention (known as the "parent patent"). Patents of addition are granted for novel improvements or modifications to an invention which is already covered by a granted standard patent of invention (known as the "parent patent"). A patent of addition:
1. Can only be filed by the same person or company which owns the parent patent;
2. Must have at least one inventor in common with the inventors named in the parent patent;
3. Cannot be filed before the filing date of the parent patent; and
4. Cannot be granted until the parent patent has been granted.
A permission to file a patent application outside the home country (usually the country of basic application) obtained from the Patent Office of that country is commonly referred to as the Foreign Filing Permit. The purported objective behind such check, perhaps, is to prevent the defense related inventions from being escaped to other jurisdictions without the State of origin being given first choice to use it.
Should it be desired to file an application in a country other than an inventor's country of residence, it may be necessary to obtain a foreign filing license from the inventor's national patent office to permit filing abroad. Some offices, such as the USPTO, may grant an automatic license after a specified time (e.g., 6 months), if a secrecy order is not issued in that time.
At the time of filing a patent application in India, the applicant must submit an undertaking stating that, he would keep the Controller updated from time to time about patent applications filed outside India relating to the same or substantially the same invention as filed in India. Such updates shall be provided till the patent is granted in India. The objective of seeking such information from the applicant is to assist the Indian Patent Office in examining the Indian patent application.
If an applicant needs to change the inventorship in a non-provisional application, what is the applicant required to submit? To change inventorship, an applicant must file a request listing the correct inventors. Additionally, the applicant must submit an inventor's oath or declaration for each added inventor.
In patent, industrial design rights and trademark laws, a priority right or right of priority is a time-limited right, triggered by the first filing of an application for a patent, an industrial design or a trademark respectively. The priority right allows the claimant to file a subsequent application in another country for the same invention, design, or trademark effective as of the date of filing the first application. When filing the subsequent application, the applicant must claim the priority of the first application in order to make use of the right of priority. The right of priority belongs to the applicant or his successor in title.
Time limits for various actions while prosecuting a patent application and also for post grant procedures have been either specifically provided in the Patents Act or prescribed through the Patents Rules. These time limits are required to be followed strictly by every person concerned. Failure to adhere to the legally imposed time limits may turn out to be detrimental to the interests of the applicants, patentees or any other person interested. Other than few action or any proceedings, the time limits prescribed in the Rules for an action or any proceedings; may be extended by the Controller for a period of one month, if he thinks it fit to do so and upon such terms as he may direct.
In the Indian patent system, a request to patent office has to be made to process the application to the Examination stage. Unlike other countries like USA, where the examination fee has to be paid at the time of filing itself, Indian Patent Act 1970 provides 4 years time frame to file and pursue the application to the examination stage. The Patent Office will examine an application only if the applicant files a request for examination. If it is not filed within the specified time limit the application shall be treated as withdrawn.
Patent applications are generally published 18 months after the earliest priority date of the application. Prior to that publication the application is confidential to the patent office. After publication, depending upon local rules, certain parts of the application file may remain confidential, but it is common for all communications between an Applicant (or his agent) and the patent office to be publicly available.
A patent assignment is the transfer of an owner's property rights in a given patent or patents, and any applications for such patents. These transfers may occur on their own or as parts of larger asset sales or purchases.
Patent assignment agreements provide both records of ownership and transfer and protect the rights of all parties. In the case of published patent applications, there is no provision to record assignment or ownership, except at the time of filing the application when the inventors declare the ownership of the invention by their "assignee", in case of inventions filed on behalf of a non-individual legal entity.
In the published application, the "assignee" is referred to as "applicant" and appears on the face of the published application. It would be helpful if recordation of ownership is provided, especially in the period between application filing and its grant as a patent. Under the Assignment the Assignee may pay off sum, revenue sharing or other payment for the assignment of the Patent, as but the parties may agree.
As the name suggest it is a procedure whereby the application is withdrawn. One reason for withdrawing an application may be to avoid its publication, if for instance it has been decided to keep the invention secret instead of applying for a patent Withdrawal of an application is the dangerous procedural step as the application becomes dead without possibility of revival An application for a patent may be withdrawn at any time before it is granted.
A notice of appeal may be filed after any of the claims has been twice rejected in applications for patent, including reissue or in an ex parte reexam based on a request filed before November 29, 1999. The limitation of "twice rejected" does not have to be related to a particular application. For example, if any claim was rejected in a parent application, and the claim is again rejected in a continuing application, then applicant can choose to file an appeal in the continuing application, even if the claim was rejected only once in the continuing application.
A pre-appeal request can be made in an application that has claims that have been rejected twice. This stems from the requirement that a notice of appeal must be filed along with the pre-appeal request and pre-appeal brief. If the claims have not been rejected twice, a notice of appeal is not proper and the pre-appeal request should be denied. Additionally, the pre-appeal request can only be filed in applications where there are either:
1. Clear errors in the examiner's rejections or
2. The examiner's omissions of one or more essential claim elements that are needed to establish a prima facie rejection of the claims.
Thus, it is important to understand and appreciate the rejection of the examiner to determine whether at least one of the criteria has been satisfied. A Request for Pre-Appeal Brief Review must be filed with the Notice of Appeal, and can include up to five pages of arguments against the rejections.
Where the Controller is satisfied that the application or any specification or any other document filed in pursuance thereof does not comply with the requirements of this Act or of any rules made there under, the Controller may refuse the application or may require the application, specification or the other documents, as the case may be, to be amended to his satisfaction before he proceeds with the application and refuse the application on failure to do so. The Controller has the powers to refuse the application. Under such circumstances, an Appeal stands effective.
Once the patent application complies with the requirements of the relevant patent office, a patent will be granted further official fees, and in some regional patent systems, such as the European patent system, translations of the application into the official languages of the states in which protection is desired must be filed to validate the patent.
The date of issue effectively terminates prosecution of a specific application, after which continuing applications cannot be filed, and establishes the date upon which infringement may be charged.
In many countries the term of patent is determined solely by the filing date and mostly the term is for 20 years.
Where the Controller is satisfied that the application or any specification or any other document filed in pursuance thereof does not comply with the requirements of this Act or of any rules made there under, the Controller may refuse the application or may require the application, specification or the other documents, as the case may be, to be amended to his satisfaction before he proceeds with the application and refuse the application on failure to do so.
The Controller has the power to order for application to be made proper by amendments, as required. In compliance, to the said order we undertake the preparing, reviewing and filing the amendments.
In India it is obligatory on part of the patentee and licensee (whether exclusive or otherwise) to supply information regarding the extent to which the patented invention has been commercially worked in India. The controller also has the power to call for such information at anytime during the continuance of the patent. Failure to furnish such information creates a presumption of non-working and may attract a fine.
Additionally, intentional furnishing of the false information is an offence punishable with imprisonment for up to six months and or fine or both. Accordingly, working of patents statements are necessary to submit with the Indian Patent Office with respect to every calendar year within three years of the end of each year.
Duration for service delivery: 15 days to 3 Months
An "office action" is a document written by an examiner in a patent, in response to an application after the examiner has examined the application. The office action cites prior art and gives reasons why the examiner has allowed, or approved, the applicant's claims, and/or rejected the claims. An office action may be "final" or "non-final". Our work mainly includes reviewing notices from patent office, preparing responses including office action responses, responding to opposition, hearing etc. Patent prosecution is passing the litmus test of patentability, which occurs in the form of objections/rejections raised by the patent office.
Preparing a response to patent office objections/rejections requires high skill levels with a blend of techno-legal expertise. Before preparing response for an office action, our team prepares a comment and analysis letter that summarizes the office action. The comment and analysis letter provides a clearer view of the office action and aids our clients in making a decision on going ahead with the response.
Patent prosecution describes the interaction between applicants and their representatives, and a patent office with regard to a patent, or an application for a patent. Broadly, patent prosecution can be split into pre-grant prosecution, which involves negotiation with a patent office for the grant of a patent, and post-grant prosecution, which involves issues such as post-grant amendment and opposition.
After registered for a patent, companies need to know if and when their competitors file similar patent applications or if a pending patent application has been issued that is similar to their own intellectual property so that suitable action can be taken in time to avoid the prohibitive costs likely to be involved at a later stage. Our team monitor all the patent applications around the subject IP application by searching different patent databases, thus helping companies defend their rights to their intellectual property and ensure their viability.
Technology watch includes patent watch but is more exhaustive. This involves the progress and development of various technologies. It also involves the study of adjacent areas in trying to identify substitute product that are likely to enter the same product space and even includes watching out for emerging trends. Not all the technologies are protected through patents hence this detailed study is helpful.
Technology is a potent means of gaining Competitive Advantage. Whether we are developing or manufacturing a product or only developing a technology, we definitely would need to know about what the competitor is doing both on the technology and the market front. Such information would help not being surprised by a competitor and could even assist in carving out a "niche" for ourselves.
Competitor Watch is a service that helps you gain a Competitive Advantage and thereby helps save a lot of time, money, effort and even reputation.
Infringement is an act of making, using, selling, offering for sale or importing the invention which is called for in the claims of the patent by an unauthorized person. Generally, a claim of the patent is said to have "LITERALLY" infringed if every element of the claim is found in the accused device. Further, if a claim of the patent is NOT literally infringed but the accused device performs substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain the same result as that of the patented device, the claim is said to be infringed under DOCTRINE OF EQUIVALENCE.
Infringement analysis is a skill intensive study conducted to determine if a product/process infringes a patent. Infringement analysis helps patent holders determine if a product/process violates their patent rights. On the other hand, infringement analysis helps companies associated with a product/process determine if their product/process violates rights of a patent. Infringement analysis is a vital step in product/process design/redesign.
We understand the criticality of infringement search and analysis for companies, and address the same by adopting a detailed approach in providing infringement opinion. Our approach includes charting claims of a patent and determining scope of claims of patents using proven methodologies. Further, we use various doctrines established by courts to determine scope of claims and provide reliable opinion relating to patent infringement.
Patent Landscape reports describe the patent situation for a specific technology in a given country, region or on the global level. They usually start with a state-of-the-art search for the technology of interest in suitable patent databases. The results of the search are then analyzed to answer specific questions, e.g. to identify certain patterns of patenting activity (Who is doing what? What is filed where?) or certain patterns of innovation (innovation trends, diversity of solutions for a technical problem, collaborations).
Looking at large sets of patent data provides a better understanding of the "big picture" to help you take informed decisions. Patent landscapes can therefore be useful for policy discussions, strategic research planning or technology transfer. However, they provide only a snapshot of the patenting situation at a certain point in time.
In a wider sense, some patent landscapes reports may analyze the validity of patents by referring to legal status data, and thereby form a basis, e.g. for freedom to operate analysis.
White Space Analysis or Gap Analysis is undertaken after any of the preliminary landscaping has been done. It involves identifying the gaps or White Space and then deliberating about how the gap may be bridged i.e. identifying the "White Space". White Space is a pre-requisite to identifying an area where an invention may be generated, or to design an appropriate strategy and identify a market that may be exploited or even in identifying a "niche" product. White Space is the gap where further R&D can be done or competitive advantage gained or may also be done to block other competitors.
Freedom to Operate Analysis (FTO) is usually used to mean determining whether a particular action, such as testing or commercialising a product, can be done without infringing valid intellectual property rights of others. It is the ability for your company to develop, make and market products without legal liabilities to third parties (e.g. other patent holders)
A validity search is a search that is determined by the selected claims of an issued patent. Validity searches might be required for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the validity of a patent is brought up during litigation. Oftentimes, a validity search is requested even when no lawsuit has been filed, to identify potential attackers and/or references that challenge the presumption of validity of a subject patent.
A validity search also helps with the valuation of a patent. If the searcher discovers closely related prior art that may cast doubt on the validity of the subject patent, the patent may be considered "weak". On the other hand, if the search does not discover these other documents, the subject patent may be considered "strong". This kind of investigation plays in important role when licensing agreements or other royalties are being negotiated between the subject patent holder and a 3rd party interested in practicing its claimed subject matter.
We offer qualitative analysis with traditional quantitative analytics to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your patent portfolio with respect to the competitive landscape. "Portfolio Analysis" is the use of electronic tools and people's skills to review a patent portfolio and identify patents and technologies that have licensing potential, by mining.
An organization's patent portfolio forms a critical part of its IP holdings alongside its designs, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Much of the value from a portfolio can only be realized through its effective management. A clear and effective IP strategy critically incorporates a clear and effective strategy for managing an organizations patent portfolio. But what are the key components of an effective patent portfolio management strategy? In broad terms, it comprises five components:
1. What do I have? (the IP audit)
2. What do I need? (the gap analysis)
3. Acquire what I need (the investment strategy)
4. Divest what I don't need (the deployment strategy)
5. Ongoing maintenance and monitoring for effective development of the IP strategy over time
Our proprietary web-based patent management and monitoring software, offers a flexible and easy to use interface that makes internal and competitive patent portfolio management and monitoring intuitive, affordable and simple to maintain.