Friday, October 9, 2009

PatentEase Review

PatentEase is a software product from Inventorprise Incorporated. It’s intended to guide you through the patent application process quickly and easily. To test the product, I compared efforts and results to those experienced when filing a previous patent application.
The "Provisional Version" of PatentEase contained a CD-ROM and a 151 page book or explanation of terminology, pull-down menus and exercises to explain necessary entries. You’re prompted to fill in the blank data fields – following instruction and examples. The software stores your early data – and compiles your help for future requirements. Here’s their roadmap of specific “sections” for sequentially “building” your patent application.
PROPERTIES: History and General Info on inventors.
TITLE: Title, Purpose, Field of invention, Related Applications
DRAWINGS: Enter sketches, graphics and written descriptions.
ELEMENTS: Identify components & location on drawings.
CONNECTIONS: Connect & identify relationship of elements.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION: Technical details describe the Invention.
SUMMARY: Invention description of objects or purposes.
RELATED APPLICATIONS: Specifics patents, prior art & known references.
BACKGROUND: Describe the problem - other solutions & shortcomings.
ABSTRACT: Initialized from the data you provided.
CLAIMS: Likewise, generated by “one click”software
Many inventors welcome any motivating assistance when facing a patent application. The programmed steps, prompts and procedures of PatentEase may benefit “first time” and “seasoned” filers – by keeping them “on track” during the procedure. PatentEase can help, but after my trial run there are some concerns.
I stumbled with the awkward computer drafting options. I prefer conventional methods for creating drawings, leader lines and element identification. For me, sketches and alteration are easier with familiar pencil and paper. They become part of the critical info fed to a qualified patent draftsman. He's familiar with the tedious drawing rules of the USPTO. Are you?
I suggest the program generated Abstract and Claims are useful, but should be accepted as informative “go-bys” needing further work. A Patent Attorney or Patent Agent should be consulted for proper wordage and presentation. They know the USPTO language and the art of forming Claims. Read some Abstracts and Claims of issued patents and you’ll discover a different world of strange prose and purpose. Don't screw this up! Get help!
Even with the faults, I still recommend using PatentEase as a “learning tool” to help with the patent application process. It's not a bad thing. But, search the USPTO for “reference patents”. Compare their language, entries and formats. You’ll agree with my three point summation:
1. The PatentEase program can assist your filing of a patent application.
2. Reading issued patents will benefit further comprehension.
3. Prepare a competent conversation with a patent lawyer or agent.
This combination may reduce burdens, fees and mistakes. Play it safe! If your great idea deserves a patent application - make sure it's a good one.

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