Proofreading patents is the most crucial and final step in the patent grant process. Even small errors in a patent document could lead to an office action or rejection of a patent application. This is a time consuming and costly affair, which is why document proofreading is very important. Errors may happen on the main (face) page, in patent claims section or in the patent specifications as well.
The errors are of different types. For example clerical error, incorrect figures or claim numbering, grammatical errors, error in claim dependencies, errors in typing, repetition of texts etc. Many of these errors are unimportant but other errors such as missing claims can damage the feasibility of the patent. It is you (applicant) who should correct the errors irrespective of who made them at the first place. That is exactly where and why; it becomes important for you as applicants to proofread patents to ensure that these errors are not harmful to your patent.
Also Read: Pains and Perils of Not Proofreading Patents
Why proofreading patents is important?
Following are a few reasons of why patent proofreading is considered important.
- Proofreading helps in a way that it spots unnoticed and unintentionally made errors in the patent specification. Issued patents are legal documents and they should not have any errors especially in patent claims part. The errors are made either by the prosecuting office or by the patentee. Hence, in turn, proofreading prevents or reduces the possible risky outcomes of the errors in the patent draft.
- Another reason why proofreading patents, however interlinked, is that it helps to avoid unnecessary office actions. That is, thoroughly proofreading patent applications prior to their submission to the patent office helps in avoiding unnecessary official letters/actions from the same. For example, notice to file corrected application, notice to file details about missing parts in the specification etc. As a result of that, you save a lot of time and money.
- Proofreading patents also minimizes the risk of rejections coming from the patent examiner because of the errors/mistakes.
In addition to the reasons above, a sample of a few thousand patents issued by the USPTO revealed that almost all the issued patents had errors in them and 2-3% of the errors were serious enough to harm the core patent claims. Therefore, for all these reasons, proofreading patents or patent specifications becomes essential once you finalize the patent draft.
Also Read: Everything About Proofreading A Patent
Best Practices to Follow While Proofreading
Errors in the published patent are typically raised through a Certificate of Correction which is attached to the published patent. That is, the USPTO does not provide a copy of the patent text before final printing. Therefore, to avoid errors in the first place, here are the best practices to follow while proofreading patents:
- You should ensure review of Examiner amendments.
- Identify PTO errors introduced by transliteration of the IFW version of patent claims and descriptions.
- You should identify applicant errors, particularly those that are (unintentionally) introduced while complying with office actions.
- Identify and fix antecedent basis errors in claims.
- Identify whether the Continuity and Bibliographic information of the patent contains errors or inconsistencies.
- Provide an EFS-ready form to the client based on USPTO guidelines for the issuance of a Certificate of Correction.
Choose Experts for Proofreading Patents!
Proofreading patents is surely beneficial. Now, you may be unsure of proofreading your own documents because you might or might not be able to find the errors.
So, if you’re to hire a professional, The Patent Proofreading Company is your destination. We provide the industry’s most comprehensive proofreading service with the help of our technical expert team. The team reviews inconsistencies to determine whether the patent application or existing patent is correct. Our reliable and cost-effective proofreading service ensures that your application is free of any errors.