Posts Tagged: "written description"

Turn Your Idea into an Invention with a Good Description

In reality, it is probably better to think of the description requirement as the core to patentability. If you can describe your idea with enough specificity you no longer have an idea, but rather have migrated past the idea-invention boundary, which means you have something that can be patented if it is unique. The crux of this so-called adequate description requirement is that once the first four patentability requirements are satisfied the applicant still must describe the invention with enough particularity such that those skilled in the relevant technology will be able to make, use and understand the invention that was made by the inventor. For the most part, and from a legal perspective, this requirement can be explained as consisting of three major parts. First is the enablement requirement, next is the best mode requirement and finally is the written description requirement.

Patent Pricing – You Get What You Pay For

It takes time to prepare a detailed written disclosure that will support any number of claims, and there is just no way to rush it. Inventors and entrepreneurs intuitively know this, but still some get lured into believing that what they get for $1,200 is just as good as what they would get if they paid $8,000, which is unrealistic of course. You should not fall for what you want to hear when you deep down know it makes no sense. If you aren’t convinced ask yourself this: When you were in school and you had to write a paper for a grade, was the resulting paper better if you spent more time or less time working on the project? The reality is the more time you have to spend the better the work product. If you are not paying very much then you realistically cannot expect the same number of hours, nor can you expect the same level of quality.

Santarus v. Par Pharmaceutical: Rader and Newman Disagree on Written Description Support for Negative Limitations

Last week the Federal Circuit decided the case of Santarus, Inc. v. Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., which dealt with whether a drug covered by an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) infringed the patents owned by that patent owner relative to the proton pump inhibitors (PPI) product omeprazole. The big issue in the case is what might at first glance seem to be a rather innocuous statement relative to the support necessary in a patent specification for a negative claim limitation. But after reading the Newman dissent (which joins in the other aspects of the Court’s decision) it starts to become clear that this could be a much larger issue of significant consequence.

Patentability Overview: Obviousness and Adequate Description

In a nutshell, an invention would be obvious when someone knowledgable about the area would look at your invention and consider it to be already known; not exactly but rather known if one were to combine several references. In other words, the predictable and non-unique combination of what multiple references teach would yield your invention. The prototypical example is when you have invented A+B. A is known in the prior art, and B is known in the prior art. Upon looking at A and then looking at B, would someone of skill in the art consider A+B to be already known? If the answer is yes, then A+B is obvious. If the answer is no, then A+B is not obvious.

Turning Your Idea into an Invention

One thing that many individuals and professional inventors employed by corporations (i.e., “kept inventors”) have in common is that they frequently do not perceive what they have come up with as worth patenting. So many have the idea that a patent is something that gets awarded to breakthrough innovations, when in fact it is far more common to have a patent awarded to an improvement on an existing product. If you can improve upon something , there is already a market in existence for the underlying product and consumers will perceive your improvement as worth paying for then you very well may have a winning invention. Certainly, you are much farther along the path to success with that trifecta.

Describing Your Invention Completely in a Patent Application

It is also very important to explain with as much detail as possible, paying particular attention to unobvious or counter-intuitive steps, connections or limitations, paying particular attention to any preparations that may be necessary prior to beginning the making or using process. Perhaps you should try and describe your invention in words in a way that would convey meaning to someone who is blind. This is a tough task no doubt, but the goal of the written disclosure is to provide verbal description that is much like a step by step how to manual. If you are trying to describe your invention to someone who cannot see then you will invariably find creative and enlightening ways to verbally get your message across. This is the type of detail that should be in an application.

Patent Drafting: Language Difficulties, Open Mouth Insert Foot

What I refer to as “experimental language” either explicitly or implicitly suggests that further experimentation is or will be necessary in order to: (1) realize or perfect the invention; or (2) realize or perfect an intermediate or component. Resist the temptation to have your patent application read like a diary of thoughts and/or personal observations regarding future research and goals. This type of language is usually not found in a patent application because it suggests that your invention is not yet completed, which could be used as an admission that the invention is not enabled and/or that you have not satisfied the written description requirement.

Did the CAFC Miss the Real “Written Description” Issue in Crown Packaging?

In my view, both the majority opinion, as well as Judge Dyk’s dissent, miss the real “written description” problem in Crown Packaging which has nothing to do with whether the common patent specification illustrates both solutions to the prior art problem. Instead, it relates to the follow description (see column 1, line 62 to column 2, line 5 of the ‘826 patent) at the end of the sentence stating how the claimed invention solved the problem of using less metal in the can end: “characterized [or “characterised” depending on which version of the ‘826 patent you use] in that, the chuck wall is inclined to an axis perpendicular to the exterior of the central panel at an angle between 30o and 60o and the concave [i.e., the reinforcing] bead narrower than 1.5 mm (0.060”).”

The Key to Drafting an Excellent Patent – Alternatives

The trick with drafting a patent application is to describe anything that will work, no matter how crude, no matter how defective. You want to capture everything. This is because the only power of a patent is to prevent others from doing what is covered in the patent. If you are making money there will be others who want to do what you are doing. Your patent can prevent them from doing what you are doing, but a strong patent will also prevent would-be-competitors from doing anything that is close. You want to prevent would-be-competitors from directly competing and from competing with substitutes, even substitutes that are inferior.

Good, Bad & Ugly: Truth About Provisional Patent Applications

There is a terrible injustice done by those non-attorney and/or non-agent services, and it amazes me that individuals are so ready to believe inventors and scientists who have a handful of patents and haven’t read many (if any) cases. You go to an experiences accountant for tax issues, when you feel sick you go to an experienced doctor, if your car breaks down you want an experienced mechanic, yet when you have an innovation that you dream could be worth many thousands, or millions, of dollars you go to an inventor who has little or no experience drafting a patent application? At which point exactly does that start to sound like a good idea? After your third martini at lunch?

Tricks & Tips for Describing An Invention in a Patent Application

The back bone, however, is made up of many smaller bones. For example, there are seven cervical vertebrae in the necks of all mammals, and these bones together make up a portion of the back bone. Therefore, a more complete description of the backbone would point out that the neck is a part of the backbone. An even more complete description might include saying cervical vertebrae 1 (i.e., C1, which is a part of the neck) is connected to cervical vertebrae 2 (i.e., C2) and so on. The point is that the more description you provide the better, but you absolutely must have at least the big picture overview of how everything fits together, and how to make and use the invention. Therefore, be sure that you have disclosed with as much detail as possible how all the pieces of your invention connect, work together, function and interrelate.

Patent Drafting: Defining Computer Implemented Processes

So what information is required in order to demonstrate that there really is an invention that deserves to receive a patent? When examining computer implemented inventions the patent examiner will determine whether the specification discloses the computer and the algorithm (e.g., the necessary steps and/or flowcharts) that perform the claimed function in sufficient detail such that one of ordinary skill in the art can reasonably conclude that the inventor invented the claimed subject matter. An algorithm is defined by the Patent Offices as a finite sequence of steps for solving a logical or mathematical problem or performing a task. The patent application may express the algorithm in any understandable terms including as a mathematical formula, in prose, in a flow chart, or in any other manner that provides sufficient structure. In my experience, flow charts that are described in text are the holy grail for these types of applications. In fact, I just prepared a provisional patent application for an inventor and we kept trading flow charts until we had everything we needed. Iterative flow charting creates a lot of detail and the results provide a tremendous disclosure.

Abbot Wins Federal Circuit Reversal of $1.67B Patent Verdict

The largest patent infringement verdict in U.S. history did not stand the test of time at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. After a five-day trial, the jury found Abbott liable for willful infringement. The jury rejected Abbott’s argument that the asserted claims were invalid, and awarded Centocor over $1.67 billion in damages. The Federal Circuit reversed and held that the asserted claims were invalid for failure to meet the statutory written description requirement, erasing the $1.67 billion verdict.

Patent Application Costs: You Get What You Pay For

It takes time to prepare a detailed written disclosure that will support any number of claims, and there is just no way to rush it. Inventors and entrepreneurs intuitively know this, but they get lured into believing that what they get for $1,400 is just as good as what they would get if they paid $8,000, which is unrealistic of course. You cannot fall for what you want to hear when you deep down know it makes no sense. If you aren’t convinced ask yourself this: when you were in school and you had to write a paper for a grade, was the resulting paper better if you spent more time or less time working on the project? The reality is the more time you have to spend the better the work product.

Business Methods: Concrete & Tangible Description a Must

In order to have a patentable business method it is necessary for the invention to accomplish some practical application. In other words, in order for a business method to be patentable it must produce a “useful, concrete and tangible result.” Although the United States Supreme Court did away with that test when it issued its decision in Bilski v. Kappos, it is still nevertheless illustrative and the best test that is out there. If you really understand what Judge Rich meant by “useful, concrete and tangible result” you come to the inescapable conclusion that it is the appropriate test and if you really target the description of the invention to satisfy the test you will have something that is patentable under the Supreme Court Bilski v. Kappos test and the USPTO guidelines that have followed.