There are a ways that foreign-based patent applicants can minimize U.S. patent filing costs and minimize U.S. patent prosecution costs and pendency while maximizing quality:
Prioritize patentable subject matter: Prioritize the patentable subject matter that is most important to your business and focus on those first. This can help to reduce costs by limiting the number of patent applications that need to be filed.
Hire a patent attorney with experience in both U.S. and foreign patent law: An attorney with experience in both U.S. and foreign patent law can help to ensure that your patent application is compliant with U.S. regulations and can help to minimize costs by identifying potential issues early on in the process.
Conduct a thorough prior art search: conducting a thorough prior art search can help to identify potential issues with your patent application and can help to minimize costs by reducing the number of office actions and appeals that need to be filed.
Use the right format: U.S. patent applications must be filed in a specific format, which includes specific headings and paragraphs. Likewise, foreign patent applications must be filed in specific formats and comply with certain requirements. Make sure that your application is formatted correctly to avoid delays or rejections.
Consider using provisional applications: Provisional applications can be a cost-effective way to secure an early filing date while allowing additional time to further develop and refine the invention before filing a non-provisional application.
Take advantage of PPH programs: Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programs can accelerate examination of a corresponding application filed in another country, which can help to minimize costs by reducing the time it takes for a patent to be granted.
Be mindful of deadlines: Be mindful of deadlines for filing patent applications, responding to office actions, and paying maintenance fees in foreign patent offices. Missing deadlines can lead to additional costs and can even result in the loss of your patent rights.
Communicate with the U.S. patent examiner during prosecution early and often: We always recommend conducting an Examiner Interview to discuss a patent application at least after the first Office Action. Patent examiner interviews are one of the most powerful tools for reducing patent prosecution costs, controlling the written record, minimizing application pendency, and producing a quality patent and patent file wrapper.