First To File® (FTF), the world’s leading patent document management company, today announced a significant upgrade to its Electronic File Room™ (EFR) patent document management service. The latest version of the service features advanced reference library functionality, which can automatically associate all references from a case family with a new case. In addition, the service can now automatically generate editable information disclosure statements (IDSs) from reference library contents, as well as supplemental IDSs when new references are added. More information about FTF and EFR, including details about the reference library enhancements and the many other upgrades in the latest version of the service, is available at firsttofile.com.
Patent law requires applicants to file IDSs listing prior art references—other patents, articles, and other materials relevant to the patent application. Fulfilling this requirement is critical, as a patent may be invalidated if a court later finds that a prior art reference was not appropriately disclosed. To guard against this, today’s patent applicants often assemble and provide to the patent office huge volumes of prior art references. Hundreds of articles are sometimes associated with a particular case family, all of which may need to be disclosed each time a new case in the family is filed.
However, many patent-filing organizations lack any formal or automatic system to map and track references associated with a case file or case family. They manually manage reference libraries—often merely stacks of papers in folders—and create IDSs, which is time-consuming, due to the large volume of references, and also risky, due to the possibility of human error.
FTF’s newly enhanced patent document management service automates and simplifies the handling of large reference libraries, reducing both the risk of inadvertent non-disclosure that can lead to later patent invalidation and also the time to prepare required disclosure documents. Powerful new functionality includes keyword searching of the reference library and a suggestion engine that intelligently recommends references from the library for disclosure.
“First To File’s new reference library functionality is incredibly useful, especially as the stakes are so high for the proper disclosure of prior art references,” said Stephen Nesbitt, chief patent counsel, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX). “For many organizations, prior art management is a very manual and error-prone function. First To File saves patent teams time and helps to ensure that all references are properly brought to the attention of the Patent Office.”
“First to File continues to innovate, enabling our customers to manage their IP assets cost-effectively and to leverage them most effectively,” said James Bergeron, chief executive officer, First To File. “The EFR feature set is customer-driven and designed to meet practical, real-world requirements, increasing our lead as the world’s foremost patent document management company.”
About First To File (FTF)
First To File (firsttofile.com) is a legal services technology business based in San Mateo, Calif. First to File’s mission is to transform the manner in which IP professionals conduct business by automating the storage, management, and analysis of legal documents worldwide, enabling lawyers to more effectively add value to their organizations. FTF’s Electronic File Room (EFR) is a Web-based patent document management and prosecution automation service for IP organizations and law firms of all sizes. EFR reduces companies’ reliance on paper and transforms the manner in which they prosecute their patents, increasing overall visibility, efficiency, and patent quality while significantly reducing costs.
First To File is a registered trademark of First To File, Inc. Electronic File Room is a trademark of First To File, Inc. Other names may be trademarks of their respective holders.
Brian Danella, Prequent, Inc. (for First To File)
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