Intellectual property docketing manages essential data, dates, and documents from the Intellectual Property (IP) office. It is also involved in tracking crucial deadlines for patent applications. Proper docketing is essential to avoid losing time and property rights. Additionally, appropriate docketing comes with a significant payoff for the money and time invested. Here are the golden rules for successful docketing.
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Don’t be too confident
Collecting all correspondences from the patent office and entering all important dates in the docketing software doesn’t guarantee success. It doesn’t mean all the deadlines are correct. It is wrong to believe that software does all the work including notifying about the correct date when to respond to the patent office responses. Spending time reviewing is very important. This is because docketing assumes everything to be fiction unless backed by facts.
Active applications need deadlines
The deadline for active applications in client’s portfolios seems responsible and lifesaving. If you lack correspondences from the IP office with an official due date, having an arbitrary deadline ensures assets don’t fall into the cracks. Not having these portraying in the docket reports means it will be too late to do anything by the time you remember the application. setting a status deadline of about 6 months from the date of record update is recommended if the asset doesn’t have an outstanding deadline.
Utilize fields for notes
Professional and experienced IP paralegals services understand the importance of taking time to use the notes fields in the docketing software. This section gives team members the context that has been docketed and creates a historical marker for the particular intellectual property asset. Besides, the notes fields make cross-referencing easier with other situations or items in the docket. Expert assistance comes in handy to handle the documentation process to increase the chances of patent application success.
Get explicit instructions from clients
Time can come when you have to choose between responding to a deadline for an intellectual property asset that a client abandoned or not. Hoping to save effort and time might make you feel like going ahead. However, you have to go with what your client told you. If they moved on from the application, making a judgment on their behalf is too risky. Ensure to get an explicit statement from the client before closing records in the docket system even when you receive an abandonment notice.
Deadlines need proof
Closing hard deadlines with no proof is a miscalculation. Don’t take it for granted that you have the exact dates for responses when managing various intellectual property assets. There are some things easy to believe when they are actually not right such as thinking your team filed a response to a rejection that is not final. Besides, there’s a chance of thinking you filed the application for a priority claim or deadline appeal. All these need proof, especially when handling high-value intellectual property.
Don’t docket from internal emails
There are silly mistakes you have to avoid making. One of these is ensuring that you collect information from only official records or correspondences. Don’t pick information from an internal email or from what someone said. Including too much communication is so easy but will lead to big problems in the future. The best way is to avoid such mistakes. When not having official documents, request an associate to forward them or the IP office can give you a copy.
Crosscheck after each update
Making errors is so easy. However, always take a quick glance at your work after each update before handling something else. There’s a chance of entering wrong numbers, dates, or actions. All these will have disastrous consequences and require additional time to proofread. To fix the issues while docketing takes little time and increases the chances of a successful patent application.
Never rely on assumptions
This point can’t be stressed enough. It is very important to have facts for every data entered in the docketing software. Equally important is to proofread every bit entered in the docket. Double-checking the information and data entered by another person against official documents is very important. Keep in mind that docketing requires keen attention to detail to avoid life-altering consequences resulting from shoddy work.
Outsourcing IP docketing is a wonderful idea. However, it is important to enlist the services of professionals with IP experience for proficient docketing. The right service provider comes with knowledge and industry experience to give good value for money.