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Annotation Problems within a Patent File History and Solutions With Patent Workbench®

January 23, 2013

The Problem: Patent professionals who use a basic PDF viewer to view an electronic patent file history and professionals reviewing a paper version of the file history have a limited range of annotation options when adding notes, highlighting, and text comparisons to the file.  A basic PDF viewer may lack multi-colored highlighting options, and automatic text comparison tools aren’t accessible for the user to visualize the changes in text between every version of a claim.  The note features on common PDF software may also be very limited, and users could lack such basic tools as the option to add notes to all PDF papers and references or the option to view all notes in a single centralized section of the viewer.  The PDF viewer may also lack the options to search notes or export all notes to a single Word document.  Professionals who are annotating a paper version of a patent file history will have to complete the process manually with tools like sticky notes and ink highlighters.  Overall, the annotation tools for patent professionals using basic PDF viewers or manual methods may be limited or even non-existent, and this lack of proper annotation makes it more difficult to support an organized and complete file history review and claim construction process.

The Patent Workbench® Reader provides users with a broad variety of convenient highlighting, text comparison, and notation tools, so patent professionals can thoroughly annotate the patent file history, claims, and references and easily access annotations on a centralized platform.  After the jump, learn about the numerous advanced annotation options available through Patent Workbench®!

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Problems with Searching a Patent File History & References and Solutions With Patent Workbench®

January 9, 2013

The Problem: Patent professionals are unable to search both the papers in an electronic patent file history and related references simultaneously using advanced search options, since the PDF viewers used to navigate electronic file histories often only have basic keyword search tools available. Patent professionals reviewing paper file histories and references have an even more difficult task in front of them, since they can only search for keywords manually.  Both the basic search tools available in common PDF viewers and the manual review process utilized for paper file histories may miss important instances of specific keywords or phrases, since advanced search options like “fuzzy” searching are not available to locate approximate term matches.  The ability to locate every occurrence of a term or phrase in both the file history papers and references is critical during the claim construction process, since the patent professional may otherwise overlook an important occurrence of a keyword within a file history or reference that could alter the interpretation of a claim.  Patent professionals therefore need a reliable, thorough, and efficient resource for searching both patent file histories and references that goes beyond the basic PDF viewer search tools and the significant limitations of manual searching.

Patent Workbench® offers an advanced search tool that allows users to efficiently search both the file history and related references simultaneously using a variety of search options to locate every possible instance of a phrase or keyword.  Continue reading to learn about the advanced search features that will solve your file history search difficulties!

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Problems with Navigating a Patent File History and Solutions With Patent Workbench®

December 26, 2012

The Problem:  Patent professionals will often face the time consuming task of navigating a lengthy patent file history with only the aid of basic bookmarks in the paper or electronic versions of the file, and a more detailed index of file history information can only be created manually.  A patent file history may be composed of hundreds of pages of papers, references, correspondence, and amendments which will need to be meticulously sorted, organized, and analyzed during the patent file history review process. Patent professionals face a number of frustrations while navigating through a paper or electronic patent file history due to limited bookmarking and indexing options.  A patent file history in paper or electronic format will often include basic bookmarks that label only the general paper titles, so patent professionals will need to add any additional subdivisions to the papers manually.  The user is also unable to view a basic index of information about the file history papers, so they must instead either create their own index of information about all file history papers or navigate using only the brief titles available from the bookmarks.  The simplistic navigation tools available for paper or electronic file histories lead to hours of extra sorting and manual indexing performed by the patent professional, who could instead focus that time on claim analysis and claim construction.

Now there is a solution to this problem, thanks to the detailed bookmarks and file history information tools available through Patent Workbench®! After the jump, learn how these tools included with the Patent Workbench® Reader can solve your file history navigation frustrations. Read more…

Demo – Create a PDF of Selected Patent File History Papers with Patent Workbench®

December 12, 2012

The Patent Workbench® Reader includes a wide range of export options to aid patent professionals with sharing and collaboration during the patent file history review process. We’ve already looked at how users can create a customized index for selected patent file history papers with the Patent Workbench® Reader, which can be exported as a Word document. Users of Patent Workbench® can also select any combination of papers from the patent file history to be exported in a single PDF file that can be easily shared with clients and colleagues.  Users can even choose to maintain annotations in the exported PDF file, if they want to highlight important sections of selected papers to be shared with others.

After the jump, view a demonstration of the few simple steps needed to export a selection of patent file history papers as a single PDF document!
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Demo – Add and Search a Reference with Patent Workbench®

November 28, 2012

Patent professionals often need to work with references related to a patent file history, and the Patent Workbench® Reader provides an entire References Module that allows users to organize, annotate, and add references to any patent file history viewed through the Reader.  All electronically available US patent references are included for free in PDF format with any file history package ordered through Patent Workbench®, and users can request PDFs or translations of any listed non-US patent references or non-patent literature publications directly through the References Module. Users can additionally add notes to specific lists of references, keyword search through the References screen, or re-sort the lists of references organized under U.S. Patents and Published Applications or Non-U.S. Patents and Published Applications.  The References Added by User section also allows patent professionals to upload their own references in any format to the patent file history, and user-added references in OCR’ed PDF format can then be searched along with the rest of the file history papers using the advanced search tools within the Patent Workbench® Reader.

After the jump, view a demonstration of how a user can instantly upload a reference to a patent file history and then search both the references and file history papers simultaneously through the Patent Workbench® Reader!
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Demonstration: Create a Customized Index of Patent File History Papers with Patent Workbench®

November 14, 2012

The File History module in the Patent Workbench® Reader is an innovative navigation tool which allows patent professionals to browse and organize information on patent file history papers by date, by paper type, or even by selected papers.  The “Select Papers” tab is a feature on the File History module that was specifically requested by patent attorneys who tested Patent Workbench®.  These users wanted the option to select specific file history papers to create a customized index of information that only lists data about the selected papers. The customized index displays information and links to only the papers that the user selected, so you have immediate access to the specific papers that are most relevant to your task at hand.  The user still has the option to organize the selected papers by either date or document type, so the papers will automatically be grouped in a logical sequence regardless of which documents are selected. Finally, users can quickly print or export the information that appears in the customized index and send this information to colleagues or clients for additional collaboration.

Continue reading to view a demonstration of how a user can quickly create and export a customized index of information for selected papers from a patent file history!

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Demo: Compare the Text of Two Versions of a Claim in a Patent File History through Patent Workbench®

October 31, 2012

Patent professionals can create a variety of reports illustrating the changes in a claim throughout a patent file history by using the Claims Tools in the Patent Workbench® Reader. The Claims Tools available on the Reader includes:

  •  Claims Matrix - Construct a matrix that illustrates every version of all or selected claims in a patent file history, and include optional text comparisons between every version of the claim.
  •  Evolved Claim® Report – View a report that illustrates all changes that occurred to the claim from the time it was introduced until the time it became a patented claim or was cancelled.
  • Claim Comparison Tool – Compare the text of any two versions of the same claim (or any two different claims), and view a list of words added and deleted between the two versions of the claim.

Each Claims Tool utilizes the innovative text comparison algorithm unique to the Patent Workbench® Reader to create a simple visualization of all changes between two versions of the claim. The text comparison displayed in each Claims Tool shows deleted text in crossed-out red font and added text in underscored green font.

Continue reading to see an example in each of the Claims Tools of the text comparison feature being used to illustrate the changes between two versions of a claim from a patent file history.

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