White House Fact Sheet on Strengthening Patent System & Fostering Innovation

Recognizing innovation as the life blood of our economy, Obama Administration announced progress on various initiatives aimed at ‘strengthening Patent System and Fostering Innovation’.

Highlights of the Fact Sheet:

Promoting Transparency — The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently published draft rule to ensure patent owners accurately record / update ownership information.

Making Patents Clear — The USPTO has developed and implemented a training program to help its examiners rigorously examine so-called “functional claims” to ensure claims are clear and can be consistently enforced. In the coming weeks, the USPTO will launch a pilot program that uses glossaries in patent specifications to promote patent clarity.

Protecting Main Street from Abuse — Create awareness of consumer rights before entering into costly litigation or settlements.

Expanding Outreach & Focused Study — USPTO expands its Edison Scholars Program, to get distinguished academic experts to the USPTO to develop and make available more robust data.

Strengthening Exclusion Order Enforcement — To make the enforcement of exclusion orders issued by the International Trade Commission more transparent, effective, and efficient.

Innovation For Global Development — commit to the Patents for Humanity Program, which create business incentives for using patented technology to address global humanitarian needs.

Crowdsourcing Prior Art — help find relevant “prior art”— that is, the technical information patent examiners need to determine whether an invention is truly novel.

More Robust Technical Training — expand Patent Examiner Technical Training Program to help patent examiners keep up with fast-changing technological fields. The Administration is calling on innovators to volunteer their time and expertise to help ensure that USPTO training is robust and state of the art.

Pro Bono and Pro Se Assistance — increase accessibility of the patent system, appoint a full-time Pro Bono Coordinator, and help expand the existing America Invents Act Pro-Bono program to cover all 50 states.

For more information refer to this link and also link 2.

Kameshwar Eranki is CEO of VajraSoft Inc.

About VajraSoft Inc. – VajraSoft Inc. is Intellectual Property (IP) Management Software company, helping customers Manage Innovations and Monetize IP’s. Our award winning products empower businesses and IP law firms to manage invention disclosures, global patent portfolio and maintaining them. PatFolio helps customers to capture ideas, automation of Invention Disclosures Management, Draft Patent Applications & file, manage patent prosecution and patent maintenance / renewals.

VajraSoft Inc. is Master Class Intellectual Property (IP) Solutions provider, and its products won several Cloud awards including – UP Start Awards for Best Industry Application for 2012. Silicon India magazine listed VajraSoft Inc. as Top 100 Technology companies in US for 2013. VajraSoft Inc. is also Finalist of StartmeupHK Venture Program, conducted by the Govt. of Hong Kong and UP Start Cloud Award for Best BI / Analytics Application for 2013.

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Incremental Innovation – What Start-ups and Large Enterprises Need to Survive & Thrive

What is Incremental Innovation? – Why Companies Need it

Incremental Innovation provisions series of small improvements to an existing product or product line to maintain and improve its competitive position. Incremental innovation is often the norm in high technology business wherein companies – Start-ups and large enterprises need to continue to enhance product features and capabilities based on customer needs or requirements.

A key reason for incremental innovation to be so popular with Start-ups and large enterprises is because it reduces risk in comparison to radical / sweeping innovation. Once a product of the company is released then investments are made to make it better and better and reduce the costs to be competitive.

The continuous improvement stems from the fact that there is a need to meet market demand:

  • To deliver ‘value‘ to the customer
  • Keep improving product to make it more competitive
  • Reduce costs

Ron Ebrahimi, Contributor to Forbes, in his article points out that Incremental Innovation is simple – and instead of thinking up and executing against audacious new ideas that are risky, one makes small incremental changes to existing products and services.

Focus On Tangible Customer Pain Point(s). This is key aspect of incremental innovation. Any new product change starts with addressing a significant issues customer is facing.

What are the typical customer pain points to address?

Typical customer pain points include – customer support issues, competitive product traction and anything in between. Addressing most painful customer issue(s) enhances product credibility and gains customer trust in making it better for them. It’s easy to get carried away at this earliest stage, which is why saying “no” should be the default when identifying possibilities.

Takeaway: VajraSoft Inc. has adopted both Incremental Innovation (for its Intellectual Property products innovation) and Radical innovation (solving multiple business pain points and transforming existing markets). VajraSoft Inc. is providing incremental innovation – improving customer experience and providing ‘value’ and reducing costs.

Kameshwar Eranki is CEO of VajraSoft Inc.

About VajraSoft Inc. – VajraSoft Inc. is Intellectual Property (IP) Management Software company, helping customers manage innovations and monetize IP’s. Our award winning products empower businesses and IP law firms to automate the patent filing cost estimation process of creating cost estimation quotes for filing a patent in any country globally. VajraSoft Inc. PatFolio helps customers with Invention Disclosures Management, Drafting Patent Applications, filing, managing patent prosecution life cycle and patent maintenance.

VajraSoft Inc. is Master Class IP Solution provider, and its products won several Cloud awards including – UP Start Awards for Best Industry Application for 2012. Silicon India magazine listed VajraSoft Inc. as Top 100 Technology companies in US for 2013. VajraSoft Inc. is also Finalist of StartmeupHK Venture Program, conducted by the Govt. of Hong Kong and UP Start Cloud Award for Best BI / Analytics Application for 2013.

PCT Patent Application Procedure – What Does it Entail?

First, get a broad picture as to what it entails in going through PCT Application procedure. Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) procedure includes the following steps:

Filing – You file PCT international application, complying with the PCT requirements – in one language, and pay requisite fees.

International Search – is conducted by an “International Searching Authority (ISA)” on the published documents to determine whether your invention is patentable and establishes an opinion on your invention’s patentability. You are then good to go further.

Filing date is assigned by RO once the following info is submitted:

  • PCT Application request
  • Designation of State
  • Applicant’s Name
  • Description
  • At least one claim

International Publication – After 18 months from the earliest filing date, the content of your international application is disclosed to the world. Typically, 18 months is the publication date from the filing date.

Supplementary International Search (optional) – identifies published documents which may not have been searched by the ISA, which carries out the main search.

International Preliminary Examination (optional) – carries out additional patentability analysis, after international publication, usually on an amended version of your application.

National Phase – At the end of the PCT procedure, you can start pursuing the grant of your patent directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which you wish to obtain them for protection.

The Receiving Office (RO) keeps records of applications filed for 10 years from the filing date. The ten year period starts to run the day after the filing date.

Takeaway – Get a big picture of the PCT procedure. PCT application route allows you to differ the filing costs and get protection where you want through National Phase applications.

Kameshwar Eranki is CEO of VajraSoft Inc.

About VajraSoft Inc. – VajraSoft Inc. is Intellectual Property (IP) Management Software company, helping customers manage innovations and monetize IP’s. Our award winning products empower businesses and IP law firms to automate the patent filing cost estimation process of creating cost estimation quotes for filing a patent in any country globally. VajraSoft Inc. PatFolio helps customers with Invention Disclosures Management, Drafting Patent Applications, filing, managing patent prosecution life cycle and patent maintenance.

VajraSoft Inc. is Master Class IP Solution provider, and its products won several Cloud awards including – UP Start Awards for Best Industry Application for 2012. Silicon India magazine listed VajraSoft Inc. as Top 100 Technology companies in US for 2013. VajraSoft Inc. is also Finalist of StartmeupHK Venture Program, conducted by the Govt. of Hong Kong and UP Start Cloud Award for Best BI / Analytics Application for 2013.

What is PCT Application? – Should I Use it? When?

When to Adopt PCT Application Route and Why?

If you are filing a patent, decide what type of patent application are you filing. Here are few considerations – What is the Patent Application i am going to file? Where (which location – country) am i going to file? – What language to file (most likely it is English? and determine if you are large entity (big enterprise) or Small Entity or Micro Entity (in USA).

If you want to adopt PCT Application route, then you have to understand what is PCT application? and when / why / how should you use it.

What PCT Application?

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent law treaty, between more than 145 countries and administered by the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO). It provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions simultaneously in each of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application, or PCT application.

Scenario You can Use it:

– Determine if your patent has global market potential. Then it makes sense to plan in that direction. PCT application is of great value and the route to adopt.

The bottom line – ” I have an invention and want to seek global IP protection” – in such as case PCT Application is a great and cost-effective approach.

A single filing of an international application with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language gets you started. At the appropriate time, select the Nationalities you want to seek protection and get into National (Phase) application to get possible grant / issuance of patent from regional authority.

Benefits of using PCT Application Route:

As state above, a key benefit is obvious. Other benefits include:

  • Delay the strategic decisions as to where to pursue patent protection
  • Consolidate all patent activities with single international application
  • Gain feedback (written opinion) on the patentability of the invention
  • Delay the filing to National / Regional authorities up to 30 / 31 months from filing date
  • Gain time to determine the commercial demand abroad and then file national phase application in those countries

Takeaway – Most obvious advantage of PCT application is – delaying as much as possible the national or regional procedures, and the respective fees and translation costs.PCT application route allows you to differ the filing costs and decisions to later point of time (typically – about 30 or 31 months) saving money as well as provisioning IP protection in different regions.

Kameshwar Eranki is CEO of VajraSoft Inc.

About VajraSoft Inc. – VajraSoft Inc. is Intellectual Property (IP) Management Software company, helping customers manage innovations and monetize IP’s. Our award winning products empower businesses and IP law firms to automate the patent filing cost estimation process of creating cost estimation quotes for filing a patent in any country globally. VajraSoft Inc. PatFolio helps customers with Invention Disclosures Management, Drafting Patent Applications – including PCT International Application, PCT National Phase applications, filing, managing patent prosecution life cycle and patent maintenance.

VajraSoft Inc. is Master Class IP Solution provider, and its products won several Cloud awards including – UP Start Awards for Best Industry Application for 2012. Silicon India magazine listed VajraSoft Inc. as Top 100 Technology companies in US for 2013. VajraSoft Inc. is also Finalist of StartmeupHK Venture Program, conducted by the Govt. of Hong Kong and UP Start Cloud Award for Best BI / Analytics Application for 2013.

Drafting Patent Specification – Tips for Maximizing Success

Tips for Drafting Patent Specifications

Drafting patent specification goes hand in hand with claims construction. Claims are used as outline for drafting the patent specification. It is highly probable that dependent claims may arise during the preparation of the specifications.

Patent specification must include the following:

  • Title of Invention
  • Cross References to related applications (Alternately submit Application Data Sheet – ADS)
  • Background of Invention
    1. Specify the field of invention
      Description of related Art
  • Brief Summary of Invention – Make sure to state the object of the invention
  • Brief description of drawings
  • Detailed description of the invention – forms the heart of the application
  • Claims
  • Abstract of Disclosures
  • Optional – If the invention stems from a Federally sponsored Research project, then make appropriate statement. Include Federal Contract Number.
  • Optional – Reference to “Sequence Listing”

When drafting “Background of invention” – factor in “prior art“. If your invention is improvement over a prior art, then cite relevant document(s). Advantage of
this approach is that it helps define the scope of your invention and it’s difference from the prior art. On the flip side, Patent Examiner may look closely at the cited documents and try to apply against the claims.

PatFolioUI Editor helps in Drafting patent specifications. PatFolio also takes into account the requirements of paper size, margins, and other details (as in 37 C.F.R. § 1.52) and generates the pdf files for submission to USPTO.

Takeaway – Before you begin drafting patent specification enlist patent claims and define each element of claim. Make sure the scope of the invention is very clear. Draft the patent specification aligned with the claims. Add the dependent claims arising out of drafting patent specification to the claims section.

PatFolio provisions invention disclosure and drafting of patent application for filing. For details on PatFolio, refer to this link.

Kameshwar Eranki is CEO of VajraSoft Inc.

About VajraSoft Inc. – VajraSoft Inc. is Intellectual Property (IP) Management Software company, helping customers manage innovations and monetize IP’s. Our award winning products empower businesses and IP law firms to manage invention disclosures, global patent portfolio and maintaining them. PatFolio helps customers with the automation of Invention Disclosures Management, Drafting Patent Applications, generating Abstract, Claims, Specifications, Drawings – pdf documents for submission, filing, managing patent prosecution life cycle and patent maintenance.

VajraSoft Inc. is Master Class Intellectual Property (IP) Solutions provider, and its products won several Cloud awards including – UP Start Awards for Best Industry Application for 2012. Silicon India magazine listed VajraSoft Inc. as Top 100 Technology companies in US for 2013. VajraSoft Inc. is also Finalist of StartmeupHK Venture Program, conducted by the Govt. of Hong Kong and UP Start Cloud Award for Best BI / Analytics Application for 2013.

Drafting Patent Claims – Get them Right

Tips for writing patent claims

Think – why you want to file patent? Once you have figured this out, the next most important aspect is drafting claims, as it determines the “scope of the patent protection“. The goal of drafting claims is to get the acceptance / approval with minimal prosecution history. One other item that goes hand in hand with drafting claims is “Drafting patent specification“.

Is the patent for Defensive purpose or Offensive needs? Determine this. Factor in independent claims and dependent claims. The dependent claims become obvious when preparing “patent specification“. So, you need to iterate back to claims section to define the dependent claims.

Claims also form the basis for drafting the Summary of Invention – It also outlines the basis for “Detailed Description” of the patent. In some instances Abstract can be used to draft the claims.

Outline of the steps for drafting patent claims:

Following steps outline the steps for drafting patent claims:

  • Patent Attorney / Agent interviews the inventor(s)
  • Next, read the materials provided by inventor
  • Determine the scope of IP protection
  • Draft the patent claims
  • Define Claim Terms
  • Get started with independent claims
  • Draft the patent specification
  • Dependent claims rise out as patent specifications are drafted
  • Add the dependent claims to Claims section

Describe the invention clearly, accurately and completely. Make sure to describe each element of the claim. If claims form the head of patent application then detailed description of patent application forms the heart of the application.

Broad Claims versus Narrow Claims – Where’s the balance? Is there one? – A claim can be either broad claim or narrow claim but not both. Broad claims describes general invention, its variations, how to make use of invention and interpreted with respect to the definitions in patent specification. But it doesn’t provide much leeway to defend infringement cases successfully. On the flip side, Patent examiners are generally reluctant to allow broad claims resulting in potentially expensive patent procurement process. There are instances where broad claims with examples have Not been invalidated.

On the other hand, a Narrow claim is focused, clear leaving less room for arguing alternatives.

So, define your claim strategy. Define the claim space – from application and functionality perspectives and broad to narrow claims.

Takeaway – Before you begin drafting patent claims determine if it is “Defensive” or “Offensive” patent. Then draft the patent claims. Make sure the scope of the invention is very clear. Define each element of the claim. It is equally important to draft the patent specification aligned with the claims. Add the dependent claims arising out of drafting patent specification. The bottom line – “Draft the broadest application / functionality claims that you can“.

PatFolio is global patent portfolio management system. It provisions invention disclosure and drafting of patent application for filing. For details on PatFolio, refer to this link.

Kameshwar Eranki is CEO of VajraSoft Inc.

About VajraSoft Inc. – VajraSoft Inc. is Intellectual Property (IP) Management Software company, helping customers manage innovations and monetize IP’s. Our award winning products empower businesses and IP law firms to manage invention disclosures, global patent portfolio and maintaining them. PatFolio helps customers with the automation of Invention Disclosures Management, Drafting Patent Applications, generating Abstract, Claims, Specifications, Drawings – pdf documents for submission, filing, managing patent prosecution life cycle and patent maintenance.

VajraSoft Inc. is Master Class Intellectual Property (IP) Solutions provider, and its products won several Cloud awards including – UP Start Awards for Best Industry Application for 2012. Silicon India magazine listed VajraSoft Inc. as Top 100 Technology companies in US for 2013. VajraSoft Inc. is also Finalist of StartmeupHK Venture Program, conducted by the Govt. of Hong Kong and UP Start Cloud Award for Best BI / Analytics Application for 2013.

Million Dollar Question for Start-ups – Should i File for Patent?

Most common mistakes, and why you should avoid it

First Think – why you want to file patent? Then think of the patent costs …..

Let’s understand why is patent important?

Filing for Patent is important for the following reasons:

  • Revenue Source
  • Marketing Benefit
  • Bargaining Chip
  • Industry Control/Influence
  • Defensive Use

Assessing Patent Costs ahead of time is important factor to consider. Because, based on the cost estimate you are going to make a critical decision – whether to file or NOT to file. If you are a Start-up you think twice, thrice or several times before you decide “yes”. Although many tend to drop or differ the filing, primarily because of cost considerations.

However, this a strategic decision for the company and should not dented purely on expense basis. Here are few considerations to think about:

1) Why are you attempting to file patents? (how much will it cost – should i avoid it must be secondary consideration)
By investing in patent filing – you are seeking IP protection to your idea / innovation. You don’t want others to copy your innovation. Therefore you are protecting your strategic differentiators over competitors. IP Protection is unique value proposition you are going to make.

Another important criteria is improving valuation of your company. The valuation of company goes up if you own IP(s). If this IP holds lot of promise valuation can go up to few million dollars.
Given such as scenario will a investment for patent filing (seeking IP protection) for few thousands be cost prohibitive? Does this modest cost outweigh the potential benefit your organization is going to gain? As CEO of the company, it is your responsibility to set and execute the vision and protect the core “IP” which is center of it.

Lastly, you can sell or license your IP and monetize. If a Angel Investor or Venture Capitalist (VC) is investing in your company and you do not take off (as most often is the case), VC can acquire IP and sell it to redeem their investment or profit from it (in some scenarios).

Takeaway – It make sense to invest in filing patent and protecting your IP. Think of the benefits you are going to reap versus the tactical costs involved in. There are tools (like IP Cost-O-Meter) that help you estimate costs with granularity. You can then determine which one to invest on and which to avoid (at least plan that way and evaluate based on milestones achieved)

Kameshwar Eranki is CEO of VajraSoft Inc.

About VajraSoft Inc. – VajraSoft Inc. is Intellectual Property (IP) Management Software company, helping customers manage innovations and monetize IP’s. Our award winning products empower businesses and IP law firms to manage invention disclosures, global patent portfolio and maintaining them. PatFolio helps customers with the automation of Invention Disclosures Management, Drafting Patent Applications, filing, managing patent prosecution life cycle and patent maintenance.

VajraSoft Inc. is Master Class Intellectual Property (IP) Solutions provider, and its products won several Cloud awards including – UP Start Awards for Best Industry Application for 2012. Silicon India magazine listed VajraSoft Inc. as Top 100 Technology companies in US for 2013. VajraSoft Inc. is also Finalist of StartmeupHK Venture Program, conducted by the Govt. of Hong Kong and UP Start Cloud Award for Best BI / Analytics Application for 2013.