Tasks for a Company Patent Committee
By Frederic M. Douglas
© 2012, Frederic M. Douglas, All Rights Reserved.
Frederic M. Douglas is a solo practitioner specializing in litigation involving intellectual property (patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyright, and more).
Businesses of all sizes should consider organizing a patent committee. Such a committee helps to jointly makes decisions about the company's patent applications and issued patents. Also, participation in the patent committee can serve to educate participants regarding patents in general.
(A) Invention Disclosure Forms
•The company's patent committee may choose to review invention disclosure forms to decide whether an invention should be scheduled for a patentability search and/or a patent application.
(B) Prioritize Inventions
•The patent committee may set and implement company policy on which inventions should receive the most attention and resources.
(C) Keeping an eye on the competition
•The patent committee can adjust patenting decisions to account for meeting competitor activities. Claims may be shifted and continuations may be undertaken to enhance the company's competitive position.
(D) Encourage Patenting
•Exposure to the company's patent committee can naturally encourage employees to participate more completely in applying for patent applications and furthering the company's patenting activities.
(E) Patents 101
•Company personnel will become educated as to patent I concerns, such as patentability criteria, trade secret alternatives to patenting, prior art concerns, competitor patent publications, and other aspects.