Beware: Patent Application Drafting Software

I have reviewed a few situations where someone has sought direction after submitting a patent application which was created using patent application drafting software. Such software is typically marketed as allowing one to create quality patent applications without having any prior experience. Of the applications that I have reviewed where the applicant used such software, I have yet to see a quality patent application. Each had a questionably specification and questionable claims. I don’t know whether it was the user or the software, but I knew some of the likely results for the applicant: higher difficulty in being granted a patent, lesser scope of protection on any granted patent, and/or the need for an additional patent application on the same  product.

A patent is a technical document that is supposed to communicate nuanced technical information to the patent office  and others having skill in the technology at issue. The language is typically college level with technical terms and frequently uses non-primary definitions of terms or self-defined terms. Having been a software developer and software enthusiast for several years, it doesn’t seem that off-the shelf software could produce such a result. When I think about some of the results from commonly available language related software, such as Babelfish, Google translator, or the word processor grammar level ratings, it seems consistent with that view. It is a far leap to take natural language input and consistently produce a nuanced technical document that complies with the goals of the applicant and the non-intuitive requirements of the patent office. That view has been supported by the poor patent applications that I have seen from such software. Problems from those poor applications included very weak applications to the need to effectively start over.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a patent attorney… but you probably knew that when you came here.

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