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Saving millions through patent proofreading: The best results require automation and human engineering to catch potential errors

By Shispal Makhloga, Sr. Consultant

As explained in a previous article, not proofreading your patent submission can change the nature and scope of your patent filing, potentially costing you millions of dollars. To help protect our clients’ precious patents, we combine the power of automated tools and human effort.

We first use automation to proofread the entire issued patent against the file history of the patent available on United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO). The process includes proofreading the first page, drawings, specification and claims of the patent.

After the first page of errors is cleared, we manually proofread errors in the amendments and claims identified during the automated process. We not only report the errors we find, but we also show the path from where the error originated. Pinpointing the source of the error helps the patent owner assess the gravity of the error and make the decision whether to file a certificate of correction. To better serve our customers, UnitedLex also provides a ready-to-be-filed certificate of correction with the proofreading report.

UnitedLex saves semiconductor manufacturer millions

A client, one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world, was facing challenges with major errors in their issued patents, which if not corrected would have affected the scope of the claims. The errors included some major gaps, such as, missing claims and incorrect claim dependencies. The client decided to have UnitedLex proofread their issued patents.

A seasoned team of experts was deployed to proofread the client’s patents, including a cadre of patent engineers to catch any technical errors. This team proofread around 300 patents for the client in the first two months and found errors in 80% of the patents of which 25% of the errors were very critical in nature and related to the following:

  1. Missing an entire claim – While proofreading the claims in an issued patent against the file history of the patent, the UnitedLex proofreading team found that the applicant added a new claim during the prosecution stage through an amendment to the claim set. This new claim was not incorporated in the issued patent. This was reported to the client and a certificate of correction was filed to add the claim to the patent.
  2. Incorrect claim dependency – The claim dependency of some of the claims was incorrect. The original claims were amended in response to one of the office actions in which an independent claim was cancelled. The claims that depended on the cancelled claim were also amended to change the dependency to the other claim, but in the issued patent these claims were incorporated with the original dependency, which was identified and corrected by the proofreading team.

The customer was able to avoid patents with errors, which the team discovered were caused by the patent office. Not only did the client save additional costs by filing a certificate of correction, but they also potentially saved millions of dollars with properly proofread and fully protected IP.

If your patents have not been read or proofed by a team of experts, let’s schedule a short call to discuss how to make sure your IP will be completely protected without having to incur unnecessary costs.

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