On September 29, 2020, our journey of getting two patents published finally culminated. With great pride and joy, we are extremely excited to share that two of our patents have been published by the U.S. Patent Office. Following are the patent details
- U.S. Patent No. 10,789,266 - This one is for the model used to predict the future cost of a patient based on their historical behaviors (i.e. future liability). We also have a research paper for this model.
- U.S. Patent No. 10,789,461- Here, we have used machine-learning models to automatically parse CCDA files to help improve the efficiency of the data ingestion process.
The Journey and Learnings
The path to get our work patented was not straightforward. Here is a timeline to summarize our journey:
So, as you can see, sometimes the examiner review process can be very long while in other cases, it can be really short. For instance, here in future liability, the review process took more than fifteen months because there were three to four office actions, while the application for CCDA parsing was quick because there was only one office action!
Given that I was filing patents for the first time, there were multiple learnings along the way
- Don’t worry about the legal writing or the patent titles or even the claims – Historically, I had shied away from reading patents (even during my Ph.D. days). They are so complicated to read, and the legal language is difficult to interpret, and very very long! So, when I wanted to even start the process, I was unsure – I have written academic papers before, even wrote my 200 page Ph.D. thesis but still didn’t know how to write patents. As usual, Kanav came to the rescue – we got a patent attorney, Dan Landau, to help us with the patent drafting part. We just needed to write the details of our inventions in simple English, provide him with all the diagrams, and get on a few calls with Dan to explain our invention. Dan and his team took our simple English document and converted it into a complete patent application.
- Don’t be afraid of the Office Action or Reviewer’s Comments – When I received the first office action wherein the patent examiner rejected the application, I thought this was the end of it. However, Dan (our patent attorney) was super helpful in explaining that ‘Don’t worry, 80% of the applications receive an office action, we will get past it.'
- Even the smallest of the smallest details matter – In the first patent application, we were having a hard time getting past the examiner, until I realized a small difference of ‘-1’ in our transformations versus what was there in the prior-art. And that was sufficient to get past the examiner --- so, if you feel that your work is not novel or patentable, think again!!
- A call with the examiner always helps – In my experience across both of the patent filings, a quick thirty-minute call with the examiner to understand his point of view and put forth our responses really helped. Not sure if it’s that personal touch or what, but now I would strongly recommend getting on a call with the examiner along with the patent attorney.
Overall, this journey, despite being long, has been a super satisfying one! It feels great to have your name listed as one of the inventors on the final patents published.
So, I encourage you all to continuously think out of the box so that you all can call yourselves INVENTORS one day.