Errors found in 98% of US patents, reveals Research

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Almost every US patent has a minimum of one mistake for sure, as per a new research. Mostly there are minor errors, most of them the faults of the USPTO; but two per cent of the patents examined were found to contain serious mistakes that weakened the core claims.

The source of this these findings is Intellevate, a firm that provides support services to intellectual property lawyers, such as prior art searching and patent proofreading, from facilities in Minneapolis and India.

Proofreading is an important last step in the process of obtaining a patent because it can identify errors that can affect the patent’s enforceability. Last Friday, Intellevate announced that its Indian office has just proofread its 5,000th issued patent.

Intellevate’s CEO Leon Steinberg claimed, “We find errors in every issued patent we review. Many of the errors are unimportant, but others, such as missing claim, can impair the enforceability of the patent. We identify the errors so that our clients can decide if they want to file a Certificate of Correction.”

Intellevate reported that Certificates of Correction were filed for an estimated 34 per cent of the proofread patents.

Most law firms consider proofreading as a obligatory step to reduce their malpractice exposure. Sophisticated corporations view proofreading as the final step in controlling the quality of their patents and ensuring enforceability. However, proofreading is time-consuming and can be expensive. It involves checking the issued patent, which can be hundreds of pages long, against the filed application and all amendments.

Apart from being time consuming and usually costly, it is often a monotonous task that many law firms and legal departments would rather not have to take on. For this reason, Intellevate says proofreading is the perfect activity to perform off-shore.

Steinberg said, “Intellevate has developed proprietary tools that automate part of the proofreading process and has built a team of legal assistants in India who are thoroughly trained and specialise in proofreading services.” He continued, “These capabilities, combined with the lower wage rates in India, allow Intellevate to provide clients a vastly superior work product at a fraction of the cost of proofreading on-shore.”