proofreading patents

You’ve likely heard of the University bribe scandal, in which Lori Loughlin (Aunt Becky) and Mossimo Giannulli, among others, were charged for allegedly paying thousands of dollars so their daughter could gain admission to the University of Southern California.

You probably didn’t know, however, that their daughter and YouTube influencer Olivia Jade recently had her trademark application declined. Why? Improper punctuation.

How a Few Missed Commas Cost This Influencer a Trademark

In March, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office notified Olivia Jade that she must “correct the punctuation in the identification to clarify the individual items in the list of goods.” Here’s the phrase they targeted (try not to roll your eyes):

“Make up kits comprised of moisturizer, primer, concealer, foundation, make-up powder, make-up pencils, eye make-up, eyeshadow, eye liner, mascara, blush, highlighter, bronzer, make-up setting spray lipstick lip gloss, lip stains, make-up remover.”

It seems that writing like you’re, well, a student at USC, won’t win you any patents.

Even more embarrassing? The U.S. Patent Office gave Olivia Jade a little lesson in punctuation, explaining how to use commas and semicolons. In an admonishment that would make any English major proud, they wrote, “proper punctuation in identifications is necessary to delineate explicitly each product or service within a list and to avoid ambiguity.”

Don’t worry: her application was approved once she made edits and resubmitted her claim.

Proofreading in Business and Intellectual Property Matters is a Must

While grammar and punctuation errors are relatively common in the workplace, big screw-ups can cost you and your company money. When it comes to Intellectual Property, they’re even more costly.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has reported that a third of errors in patent applications need a correction certificate. Some errors, like incorrect dependencies in claims, can do quite a bit of damage, limiting the scope of the patent or causing it to be revoked. In other cases, an applicant may face extra fees or delays.

The last thing an applicant wants is to learn that a patent has been denied or invalidated due to easily correctable errors.

To Be on the Safe Side, Have a Professional Help You Through the Patent Process

Proofreading a patent application ensures, first, that all relevant documents are above board and second, that the patent is approved the first time by the U.S. Patent Office.

Because a patent includes several relevant documents, there are numerous chances for error, from a small punctuation mistake to a major invalid specification. Although poring over documents isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, it’s crucial to identify discrepancies, missed references, improper status indicators, or inconsistent numbering in these legal documents.

If you would like additional information on what it takes to protect your intellectual property, let us know. At the Offices of Zachary Hiller, we specialize in intellectual property for entrepreneurs. We can guide you through the process, so you won’t make the same mistake Olivia Jade did.

Protect your investment. Contact us today.

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