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Innovation

Addressing the Challenges of Documentation

In order for an inventor to file for patent protection, their invention must be carefully documented. This is true whether the inventor is working alone or is part of a well-established, well-funded R&D team supported by IP professionals. A strategic approach to innovation management includes thorough documentation of an invention from the very beginning of the research and development process. Prioritizing record-keeping from start to finish of the innovation lifecycle makes the formal documentation processes of invention disclosure and patent application that much easier later on. 

Even with careful records of R&D (which do not always exist), formal documentation presents challenges. The process takes vast amounts of time in multiple departments. This is especially true if there is not adequate documentation throughout the innovation process. Cross-team communication and collaboration can also prove challenging. Invention disclosures require knowledge of intellectual property strategy and law, as well as the technology being disclosed. Inventors and IP professionals must work together to capture the necessary information. Ineffective communication can add to the already large amount of time it takes to translate an invention into writing.

Individual inventors and organizations alike must overcome these barriers. The consequences of failing to do so are too great. Invention disclosures set the stage for patentability searches and may drive IP strategy decisions, such as whether or not to patent. Thorough invention disclosures become well-written patent applications and therefore impact patent validity and strength, as well as ownership. 

Better Documentation with IP.com

IP.com’s IQ Ideas Plus™ was designed to address the documentation challenges of both inventors and IP teams. The tool includes Inventor’s Aide™ to quickly and accurately evaluate invention disclosure descriptions for quality and novelty. IQ Ideas Plus offers intelligent feedback to help R&D teams fine-tune their Problem and Solution statements, include important keywords, and analyze relevant trends and landscapes. 

By empowering R&D teams with intelligent feedback and reducing IP teams’ workload with novelty scoring, IQ Ideas Plus reduces costly back-and-forth between departments. Patent committees are able to focus their discussions on relevant invention disclosures more quickly. Together, better documentation and improved collaboration reduce the overall time to patent. These features offer individual inventors similar benefits when working with patent attorneys.