Patenting 101 - Why is a Patent Claim so Important?
Importance of Patent Claims:
Any technological invention needs to be patented for preventing alien companies from replicating it. It takes hard work, research and R&D to come up with groundbreaking innovation which is why patents are necessary to ensure that other companies cannot claim or use that technology without the primary company intending to share the technology for some reason which can be monetary. Logos and other unique content of your company can also be infringed, which is why you need to complete the logo registration and brand registration. This is the purpose of patenting a product. But what defines the area of propriety claim the company has over the invention?
Patent claim is an essential part of patenting which defines the boundary over which the claim has been made. This allows freedom to other corporations to patent products that are outside the jurisdiction of a previously patented innovation. Creating a patent claim is a gruelling mix of technical and legal vocabulary and terms that can clearly define these boundaries and the scope of the invention or creativity. You will realize how important it is to create a patent claim which not only ensures trademark protection or technical protection but also lays down the exact map of what is covered and what is not.
Types of Patent Claims:
If broken down, patent claims can be visualised as independent patent claims and dependent patent claims:
Independent Patent Claims:
Like the term ‘independent’ suggests, this claim does not bear reference to a previous claim. It is a standalone claim that is has no predecessors to claim to, and is completed with a preamble and all the intricate technology used for creating the product. These claims have a broader perspective since they have to cover all the aspects of the products to restrict any form of infringements. Let’s take a look at the common types of independent patent claims:
- Claiming a product
- Claiming a process to create a product
- Claiming the understanding of using a product
Dependent Patent Claims:
This is completely opposite to the independent patent claims definition wherein the claim made has a reference to a previous claim. A dependent claim can have reference to an independent or a dependent claim based on the product or process. The dependent claim for a specific product or a process is a narrow and core specific claim since you are targeting a concise and local aspect, without affecting the legal aspects and venturing outside the jurisdiction of the previously claimed product. This patent claim can have descriptions of the minute aspects, optional features or non-essential features that are not described in any of the previous claims. All these minuscule details add to the importance of patent claims.
Creating the Perfect Patent Claim:
Patent claim is not an easy task which can be overlooked. Intellectual property which include trademarks, logos and technical aspects need to be protected through these claims which is why there needs to be clinical supervision over the draft that starts from the broad secret of the product right down to the core specifics of it and the language used. So let us take a look at creating the perfect patent claim.
- Purpose of the Claim:
The whole scenario must be comprehended before creating a patent claim. Some of the points mentioned in the claim should be:
- Important and optional functions of the product.
- Extent of coverage of the claim
- The institutions who are foreclosed by the claim
- People who may try to circumvent the claim
Alongside these points, the target audiences should also be mentioned in these claims which include:
- People interested in the claims
- Including the patent examiner
- Professionals in the field
- Intellectual property asset managers, investors, licensees, jurors and opposing patent counsel.
- Language Incorporated
A professional will never undermine the need for quality language while communicating his/her ideas. In this case too, it is absolutely necessary to communicate your patent claim directly and in a comprehensive way which encapsulates relevant and minute data. The lingoes used for crafting these drafts are created by art patents that pay close attention to recognition of meaning, sensitivity to scope, etc.
It is the job of the patent attorney to depict the line where the scope of the independent claim ends and the scope of the current patent claim starts. This is a vague line which needs to be prominently described to evade any legal infringement issues.
- Proving Infringement
The final draft of the patent claim should eliminate all possibilities of any patent or copyright infringement of the previous independent claim in advance even before a court case is filed. Let us take a look at the dual process of patent infringement.
This process is mostly called the “Marksman Hearing” which is carried out under the local rules of a district court and is in accordance with the concept of “claim construction”. This hearing determines the scope and meaning of the patent claim.
In this process, the court scrutinises the patent owner and the patent claim for the alleged patent infringement. To prove infringement, the patent owner must prove that the patent claim should bypass all the laws of the patent claim. Thus legal infringement is based on the exact correspondence between the patent claim and the patent owner.
This exact science requires the patent attorneys to be precise while drafting a patent claim which should have an abundance of technical and legal aspects covered. These attorneys take pride in well-scripted patent claims.
Choosing Patent Attorneys:
The patent attorney scripts the complete draft and, since the complete legality of the patent is in their hand, you need to choose the right trademark and patent services.
Never “shop” for patent attorneys. Judging from their price tag is not an appropriate way to validate a certain set of skill sets. Choose a patent and trademark attorney from the relevant field which will ensure a complete understanding about the product before creating the right patent claim. It is not necessary for an inexpensive patent lawyer to do a bad job but they seldom do a good job. Also poorly written patent claims can cost you time and money if the claims get rejected by the patent examiner.
2. Degree of Knowledge
A patent attorney can guarantee a flawless draft only if he has a prerequisite knowledge in your field and can grasp the terms associated with the product to protect it. These patent attorneys usually have an engineering degree to go alongside them. If they are not familiar with your industry, make sure that they are willing to research adequately about it before drafting the patent claim. Also, the best way to find a good patent attorney is to gauge the receptiveness and eagerness to learn more about your product and company. A professional will always hear you out and recommend options whereas a non-reputed attorney will show disregard for the product.
3. Customer Service
The end deal while hiring a professional is good and prompt customer service. Never choose professionals who are not interested and mendaciously overlook your calls and concerns.
Hire the best copyright and trademark service vendors in India to ensure the perfect patent draft for your logos and trademark signatures.
The technologically driven world out there is outrageously savage and will feed off of any shortcomings of your business. Always be legally prepared to confront infringements on the creative aspects of your business like logos or technology, but primarily make sure to find the right attorney who can draft the right patent claim which does not raise any suspicion in the minds of your competitors. Small businesses have suffered from various IPR lawsuits, and you need to be aware of this news. Getting your patent registered in India is a simple process which can be done online and reduces the hassles involved. Over the years, the process of issuing copyrights and trademark filing has also been made easier to propagate faster and efficient flow of business.
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