Patents Need To Be Informed By Differences And Benefits



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Picture of Craige Thompson

Craige Thompson

Craige is an experienced engineer, accomplished patent attorney, and bestselling author.

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I feel prompted to make a general comment about best practices in patents. Patents need to be informed by differences and benefits in order for your patents to have the best quality at lowest cost.

A patent generally, should not explain why something works or explain all the benefits. However, I can always do a much better job for you to the extent I am informed of the differences and advantages of your invention over the prior art. This is especially true in fields of crowded, mature technologies (e.g., power electronics) where small changes can become very important business assets if properly protected.

Understanding The Differences

Understanding the differences between the invention and the prior art is a fundamentally critical first step to efficiently drafting a Litigation Quality (LQ) Patent. A concise but thorough summary of advantages brings a sharp focus that highlights the differences that I can then strategically use to educate the patent examiner on how seemingly small changes are actually big improvements worthy of a patent.

On the one hand, we don’t want our patents to educate our competitors. On the other hand, that goal has to be balanced with persuasively selling the invention enough to get the patent granted.

When clients can provide a good summary of differences and advantages, that gives me ammunition to defend their invention against the inevitable challenges that the invention is obvious. If I can articulate advantages and differences over the prior art when drafting the patent, I can strategically select strong arguments and build them into the patent up front, perhaps years in advance of having to make them.

Maybe the Examiner will actually read them so I won’t have to. Strategic presentation of advantages is one of my secrets for getting high quality patents through the patent office so smoothly and without the typical long drawn out battle with the Examiner. I believe that this approach has been one of the key reasons for the relative ease with which we are often able to get valuable claim scope through examination for numerous clients.

In general, differences and advantages are tremendously valuable in properly describing and then “selling” the invention, especially to the US and EU patent examiners. Being better informed on the differences and advantages over the prior art enables us to help you get better patents faster for less time and money.

(“Better patents faster for less time and money,” by the way, are some differences and advantages of LQ patents!)

Patent Assessment

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