Let’s be honest – drafting new patent applications is often quite tedious. The process also requires a great deal of concentration and mental endurance. More so in light of the shrinking or capped application budgets that make it harder to draft high-quality applications within the allotted time. This is one area where automated patent drafting tools can greatly help patent practitioners save time, avoid mistakes, and preserve the necessary mental focus to draft well-written patent applications.
1. Time and Cost Savings
Patent drafting involves many time-consuming yet fairly mechanical steps that can be automated with natural language processing techniques and custom templates. Drafting automation is especially helpful if you write applications in certain technical areas with frequent subject matter repetition. As shown in the table below, you can easily save anywhere from 1 to 3 hours of drafting time on each new patent application by automating certain tasks with ClaimMaster’s +Drafting tools, which can repeatedly generate text and figures in seconds (after quick initial template setup).
|Patent Drafting Operation||Required Manual Steps||Saved Time|
|Cloning a draft claim set to several other statutory classes||• Copy & paste the existing method claim set several times to generate a first draft of the cloned claims
• Recalculate and adjust the new claim numbers and dependencies in the cloned claims
• Adjust each cloned claim’s preamble, surrounding language to the specific statutory class (e.g., CRM, system, etc.), and verb tenses in individual limitations
|Creating flowchart diagrams and corresponding Specification descriptions from the existing claims|| • Split up claims into individual limitations and copy & paste each limitation into a separate box in the drawing, while adjusting verb tenses in each flowchart step
• Draw arrows between steps, add Figure # label to the flowchart, then add step # labels to each flowchart step that match the selected Figure #.
• Convert each flowchart step/limitation to prose format, which includes adjusting verb tenses, removing legal terms, inserting connectors between sentences, inserting language from dependent claims, adding boilerplate sections, and making other stylistic adjustments.
• Add step numbers in parentheses for each described step, add correct #s to steps when referencing parts from other figures, and optionally add limitations from dependent claims
|30-120 mins (depending on the # of flowcharts)|
|Reusing figures and corresponding descriptions from other applications||• Copy figures from another application and adjust figure and part number labels in each figure, if needed
• Copy brief and full figure descriptions from another application into the new application and adjust figure and part numbers in each figure description; also adjust part names and descriptions to match the claims, where needed
|30-120 mins (depending on the # of flowcharts)|
|Drafting the Summary section||Convert independent and dependent claims to paragraph form. This involves making many revisions, such as adjusting verb tenses, removing legalese, inserting connectors between sentences, adding boilerplate sections, and making other edits.||15-30 mins|
|Drafting the Abstract||Write out one independent claim in paragraph form. This involves making claim language revisions, such as adjusting verb tenses, removing legalese, inserting connectors between individual limitations, adding boilerplate sections, and making other stylistic adjustments.||5 mins|
These time savings translate to at least $300-$900 cost savings on each draft (assuming the very moderate $300/hr billing rate). And, if you are drafting on a fixed fee budget, freeing yourself from 2 hours of tedious work means you have extra time to spend on fleshing out the important features of the invention and still remain within budget. Either way you look at it, automated patent drafting lets you draft higher-value patents in less time and makes you look good in front of your clients.
2. Fewer Errors with Automated Drafting
Automating tedious patent drafting tasks also helps avoid errors introduced by manual drafting. For example, when mirroring claims into other statutory types, a practitioner might forget to adjust all claim numbers and dependencies in the cloned claims. There also could be mistakes left by forgetting to rewrite preambles and verb tenses, remove legalese, and make other adjustments to the cloned claims. Similar types of issues pop up when one rewrites the existing claims into Summary and Abstract sections. Manual drafting could also leave various step and part numbering inconsistencies in figures and flowcharts, as well as their respective descriptions in the Specification. The use of automated patent drafting tools reduces these and many other drafting problems, producing higher-quality patent applications.
3. Improved Mental Focus
Finally, there is one hidden yet very real benefit from using patent drafting tools to streamline numerous repetitive drafting tasks. As psychology studies have shown, concentration is a depleting resource. You don’t want to spend all your mental energy upfront on tedious tasks. Using patent drafting automation to get the mind-numbing drafting operations out of the way frees up your mental reserves for the more important, substantive sections of the application. And, if you ever happen to experience “writers block” when starting a new application, using our patent drafting automation tools will help you blast right past it, as you could have 20-30% of the new draft ready in minutes.
Thus, not only will automating the tedium make your drafting practice more efficient, but it will also make it more enjoyable. To paraphrase the famous MasterCard commercial: time saved from manually cloning claims and turning them into Summary and Abstract sections – 40 minutes, time saved on making basic figures and flowcharts – 2 hours, creating a concrete first application draft in 5 mins and still feeling mentally fresh – PRICELESS.
So why not give patent drafting automation a try? To see the new patent drafting tools in action, take a look at the video below (set playback quality to HD, if possible):
In addition, here are the step-by-step tutorials for using the new patent application drafting tools:
- Patent application drafting workflow
- Cloning method claims into other statutory types
- Generating Summary
- Generating Abstract
- Generating flowcharts and corresponding descriptions
- Generating figures and corresponding descriptions
- Importing existing figures and text into templates
- Customizing patent application drafting templates
If you are interested in trialing the new +Drafting package, download the free 30-day trial from here. If you have questions, would like to schedule a demo, or would like to upgrade your existing subscription to include these features, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.