Rethink(THIS!) - Let's make a better patent document

Posted by J Matthew Buchanan at August 29, 2005 08:14 AM

How much do you hate patents?  I’m not talking about the legal concept of the right to exclude, but actual patents.

The document.  It’s structure, layout and appearance.

Current US patents are better documents than their ancestors.  But, if you ask me, there’s still room for improvement.

Let’s change them.

Got any ideas on how to improve the patent document?  We’d love to hear them.  The ideas can be about anything and for any purpose.  You can view one of my prior rants on the subject here if you need something to get the gears moving.

So go ahead, make the patent more useful and/or easier to understand.  Heck, we’d even love to hear suggestions on how to make them more aesthetically pleasing (just remember not to place that term in the claims).

Use comments or send any of us rethink’rs an e-mail (addresses at top left).  We’ll post ‘em later.  Maybe we’ll even send them to someone who cares.

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Tim Palmer Says:

August 29, 2005 04:32 PM

Here are some thoughts:
Put claims on the start of a new page.
Move the claims further up in the document.
Put the figures inline with the text describing them (maybe repeated multiple times if the text runs several pages). Maybe just reprint smaller figures as a reminder.
Move the prior art cited from the front page, and put it all on one page (or pages) - rather than having a "(list continued on next page)."
Include the text description of the patent classes.
Drop the figure from the cover page.

Alun Palmer (no relation!) Says:

December 20, 2006 10:43 AM

Mostly good suggestions, except the one about dropping the figure from the cover page. As a former searcher, I consider that to be a very bad idea.

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