For cracking patent drafting questions in the patent agent examination, you need to understand the patent writing format in the Patent Agent exam.
Following are some of the tips to crack the drafting section of the Patent Agent exam:
Practice simple inventions for patent agent exam
The intent of the patent agent examination is to check whether you know how to write a patent application. The primary intent is not really to check how much of a complex invention you can handle. Therefore, your focus while preparing drafting for the exam should be to practice writing patent applications for simple mechanical or pharma inventions. There is no set rule that indicates this but previous year question papers mostly include inventions that include less complex mechanical components or pharma/chemical based inventions. For example, a drinking straw, a water sprinkler, a coconut cracker etc are some of the inventions that have been previously given in the PAE.
Moral of the story – Look at simple every day tools around you (e.g. A Swiss knife, tongs etc. or anything that you consider as a simple mechanical tool) and practice writing claims and description on them.
Use patent writing format in India
Patent writing format in India is somewhat different from other countries. There are some requirements that are specific to Indian Patent Law. For example, when writing the PAE, you must write the patent application in the Form 2 format. This is the most important requirement.
Another point you can incorporate is to mention a figure number (the main figure) below the Abstract towards the right-hand side. In real-life applications, the intent of mentioning this is to indicate the figure that should be on the front page of the patent publication. In the Patent Agent exam, this shows the Examiner that you have knowledge of Indian Patent law.
Additionally, you should ensure that the patent application should be divided into different sections – Title (not more than 15 words), Field of invention, Background of the invention, Object of the Invention, Summary, Brief description of drawings, Detailed description of drawings, Claims and Abstract (not more than 150 words).
Given the time constraint, 4-6 pages are sufficient for description and 2-3 pages for claims. While you can exceed this length at your will, do not try to unnecessarily lengthen the description lest you may run out of time for other questions.
Include independent and dependent claims
When writing the claims, always start with an independent claim followed by some dependent claims. The independent claim (method, device, apparatus etc.) should capture the essential features of the invention.
The dependent claims should capture the qualifying features that build on to the independent claim. Another way to view this is that independent claims would include features that are essential and without which, the invention would not work. The dependent claims, however, can include optional features – not necessary to the working of the invention but as add-on features to the essential features.
Additionally, you must use reference signs provided in the drawings/disclosure in the question paper when writing the claims. The time-saving approach to do this is to keep writing the claims and leave some space for reference numerals. Once you are done attempting the entire question, just refer to the drawings and add all reference signs in 5-10 minutes.
Focus on completing the question
Since time is an important consideration in the exam, you must focus on completion of the drafting questions. It is tempting to be deeply involved in the details of the invention, especially inventions that have several small parts that are interconnected. You can easily loose time by doing so.
To attempt efficiently, you should focus on segregating the essential from non-essential features while reading the invention description, to form the independent and dependent claims.
Once the claims are formed, the description is not difficult to write. Once you have laid out the format as described above, you can describe each claim successively by extracting details from the invention disclosure provided in the question paper.
Review Patent Agent exam questions from previous years
To crack any exam, it is always a great strategy to solve previous year question papers. For Patent Agent exam as well, the Patent Agent exam question papers with answers is an immensely useful resource.
For drafting, you should follow your own style and writing strategy and should not get swayed by pre-written answers. You can refer some Indian patents to get an idea but practice writing several drafts in the Indian patent writing format on your own. Even if you solve 5-10 drafts only from the previous year PAE question papers, you will feel confident on how to write a patent application.
Hope this article was helpful in understanding how to prepare for Paper 2 of the Indian Patent Agent Exam!
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