Thursday, July 28, 2005

Patent work Patent work

Finally finishing up on a patent specification revision. It has been brutal.

The way it typically works is that I draft a patent specification (and drawings) and give the inventor an electronic copy of the specification to mark up with his changes. I have revisions enabled (but not visible) so I can see what he did. Alternatively, he can write his changes longhand on a hard copy of the draft application, and I will then transcribe most of them into the next revision. Either works. The former is more efficient, and, thus, I prefer it. All I have typically do then is either accept or reject each of his changes.

But this inventor sent back a revision that didn't bear any resemblence to my original draft. Rather, it looked a lot more like his original documentation. When I talked to him on the phone, he proudly informed me that his girlfriend was a very fast typist, and that he had used her to retype the entire patent specification.

Needless to say, it bore no resemblence to what I had done before. Worse, the changes were so massive that the Word compare document feature essentially showed that my original document had been deleted and replace by his new one.

Add to this that he had readded pages of detail to the claims, contrary to the purpose of that portion of the specification (see my patent outline entry on patent claims).

The result of this is that I have spent a week doing what should have taken a half a day. I had to go through and thoroughly reread both my original draft of the specification and the inventor's rewrite, word by word, matching things up as I went. It was so bad because nothing was in the same place.

But, as I said, it was brutal, but I'm done.

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