Improvements to Patent Proofreading Tools

ClaimMaster 2021.10 introduces a number of significant improvements to our patent proofreading tools. Please take a look at the details below.

Office Action Response header proofreading

Have you ever put a wrong patent application number in the header of your Office Action response? Maybe you’ve used another response as a template, but forgot to change its header…  Or perhaps the other bibliographic information in the header is not entirely accurate. These typos could result in the USPTO incorrectly routing the mislabeled response and possibly lead to abandonment.

ClaimMaster’s “Check Office Action Response Header” patent proofreading tool helps you avoid the above problems.  In the past, this tool was only available for Pro/Pro+ users, but now is also available for the QA users. When you run this feature, ClaimMaster will extract the patent application number from your open document and use it to lookup the associated bibliographic data from PEDs or PAIR.  The software will then compare the information obtained from the USPTO to your document header and highlight any inconsistencies.

office action header check

The screenshot below demonstrates this check in action, where the specified patent application number 12/811,998 and its associated bibliographic data do not completely match all of the information listed in the document.  If ClaimMaster was able to match the fields, they would be highlighted in green or yellow (for partial matches), but some of the mismatched fields are in red and need to be corrected.

office action header check results

Post-grant claim check

The USPTO has been known to issue patents with incorrect claims and those problems are sometimes not caught until years later. For a fairly recent example, see Smart Wearable v. Microsoft, 2017 WL448616 (W.D. VA Jan. 1, 2017), where the USPTO forgot to include a portion of the claim in the issued patent. Therefore, attorneys need to perform a final sanity check on the claims after the patent issues to make sure the USPTO publishes the allowed claims without errors. To help with this check, we’ve added a Post-Grant Claim Check tool that helps you verify whether the recently issued patent claims match the latest claim set provided to the USPTO.

To use this patent proofreading tool, open the Word document with the latest claim set and then launch the Post-Grant Claim Check tool from the Individual Proofing Tools menu.

post-grant claim check

Next, specify the issued patent number and click on the Compare Claims button.

post grant check

ClaimMaster will download the claims from the issued US patent and compare them to the claims in your document. Any inconsistencies (there should’t be any) will be flagged, as shown below

claims compare

The post-grant check tool could save you from significant problems, as even small mistakes or changes in the issued claims that go unnoticed could spell trouble during patent enforcement many years later.

Improvements to antecedent basis checking and review

Among improvements to out patent proofreading tools, we have also made improvements to antecedent basis checking to make it even more accurate and further reduce false positives. For example, we’ve added an option (enabled by default) to break up noun phrases that are joined with the “of” preposition. For example, the phrase “multiple wrenches of tool set” will be broken up into two separate phrases “multiple wrenches” and “tool set” for the AB checking purposes. We think that, in most cases, this will result in fewer false positives without affecting the overall accuracy of the AB checking tool.

antecedent basis options

We’ve also improved handling of “one or more”, “plurality of”, and other standard claim terms, as well as made numerous other tweaks to the natural language processing portion of the AB checking engine to further improve its accuracy. The false positives should now be extremely limited and, overall, we feel that the AB engine is very accurate. Still, you still might encounter occasional situations where the noun phrases are getting incorrectly grouped and, as a result, you may get a false positive. We’ve made it easier to correct the errors directly in the proofreading interface. If you find a term that’s getting incorrectly processed, simply right click on it and select Correct this term option.

You will then be take to the Term Browser where you can specify whether the error was due to too many or too few words in the group. We’ll also provide suggestions for you for the right term and once you click on Apply Changes, the AB check will be rerun with the new settings, getting rid of the false positives. Preferences could be stored on the global or document-specific level.

Other patent proofreading tools improvements

In addition to the above improvements, we’ve made many other core improvements to the various proofreading features:

  • Significant speed up for part number and acronym proofreading (64-bit) – we’ve made many core improvements to make part number and acronym checking much faster for 64-bit Office, especially for the very large documents. If you are working with long documents, you should notice a significant (3-10x) speed improvement and the overall stability of the tool has been improved as well.
  • Improved PDF/Word all-in-one reports – we’ve fully revised our PDF/Word all-in-one reports to make their generation much faster. We’ve also reorganized how the reports are displayed to make them more concise. Many other issues, including incorrect sizing of imported figures, have been fixed as well.
  • Cleaned up “patent profanity” and other claim rules – we’ve updated our document and claim rules to get rid of some of the rules that were mostly generating false positives.

Take a look at other numerous improvements in this release: