Unleashing Inventive Potential: How Patent Counsel Can Harness Creative Thinking and Tools to Empower Inventors and Strengthen the Patent Process


Patent counsel is critical in the field of intellectual property, especially when it comes to protecting creative concepts. Even though they concentrate primarily on legal matters, one of the newest strategies they can use for their practice is to incorporate creative thinking tools. Patent counsel can revolutionize patenting by first understanding and embracing creative thinking[1]. This allows patent counsel to release the full potential of inventors. In this article, we will discuss the profound advantages of incorporating creative thinking tools into the skill set of patent counsel, as well as the impact these tools have on inventors and the overall landscape of the patent industry.

[1] https://www.ipcg.com/thought-leadership/invent-anything-podcast/   Episode 4 – Types of Creativity: Associative Thinking

What are Creative Thinking Tools?

“creative thinking tools” refers to various tools and conceptual frameworks intended to encourage the production of novel ideas. These creative thinking tools provide structured approaches to problem-solving, which encourages individuals to think creatively and explore paths that aren’t traditionally taken. Several examples of this type of thinking include reverse thinking, brainstorming sessions, mind mapping, SCAMPER (which stands for “Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Rearrange”), Invention in Demand®[1], and others.

[1] https://www.ipcg.com/thought-leadership/invent-anything-podcast/ Episode 32 – Get More Patents with Invention On Demand

It’s Ironic that Patent Counsel Training Involves Working with Creative Inventors but Neglects Creativity Thinking Training

Ironically, patent counsel frequently works closely with inventive individuals, but they receive very little instruction in creative thinking themselves. Patent counsel, who serves as the primary interface between inventors and the process of obtaining a patent, stand to gain a great deal from developing their capacities for learning the creative thinking aptitude of the inventors they serve. They can close the gap between their legal expertise and the inventive minds they serve by embracing tools for creative thinking. This will allow them to serve their clients better.

Understanding the “Voice of the Inventor” through Creative Thinking Training

There is a good reason why the “voice of the customer” is such a well-known concept in quality processes as it enables businesses to cater to the needs of their customers more effectively. Similarly, patent counsel should try to understand what is referred to as the “voice of the inventor.” By delving into the inventive thought process of the inventors, patent counsel can gain valuable insights that can be used to strengthen patent claims, enhance the understanding of novelty, and unlock potential arguments for non-obviousness.

Unraveling the Inventor’s Creative Process to Establish Non-Obviousness

The search for novelty that patent counsel conducts inevitably results in questions regarding how the novelty was produced. Patent counsel could identify and define the specific creativity tools that inventors use during the creative process if they have a solid understanding of the creative thinking tools available to them. For instance, if an inventor utilized a technique such as “reversing the steps,” patent counsel could articulate how the invention has reversed the typical sequence of steps known from the prior art, thereby establishing that the invention is not obvious.

Enhancing Brainstorming and Identifying Novel Embodiments

Patent counsel who has a solid grasp of creative thinking are better able to facilitate productive brainstorming sessions with their clients, the company’s inventors. Patent counsel can inspire inventors to explore new possibilities and envision alternative embodiments by utilizing tools for creative thinking. Inventors can receive this inspiration from patent counsel. This makes it possible to create more robust patent applications that cover a more comprehensive territory range and offer more excellent protection.

Proposing Invent-Arounds to Strengthen Patent Claims

Patent counsel can also be equipped to suggest inventive workarounds or “invent-around [1]” with the help of tools that encourage creative thinking. Patent counsel can identify potential weak spots in the patent by first understanding the inventive thought process of the patient’s creators. From there, they can propose alternative solutions to bolster the patent’s claims. This preventative strategy helps to strengthen the patent before it is filed, increasing the chances of the patent being successfully protected.

[1] https://www.ipcg.com/thought-leadership/invent-anything-podcast/  Episode 28 – How to Invent Around Any Patent or Technology

Crafting Winning Responses to Patent Examiners

Crafting effective responses to office actions, particularly those on obviousness, requires patent counsel would be improved if the patent counsel would have a solid understanding of creative thinking. Patent counsel can develop compelling arguments that address examiner concerns and establish the non-obvious nature of the invention by developing arguments describing the creative process of the inventor. The effectiveness and efficiency of the office action debates are both improved by this approach to collaboration.

Justifying Patenting with Unique Creative Thinking Tools

In situations in which inventors have used creative thinking tools that are truly one-of-a-kind and out of the ordinary to develop their inventions, patent counsel can use their understanding of these tools to justify the patentability of the invention by pointing out how these tools contributed to the development of the invention. Patent counsel can effectively argue that the invention goes beyond what is known in the art by demonstrating how unique and innovative the creative thinking process was to create the invention. This further strengthens the case for patenting the invention because it demonstrates that it was developed in ways unknown in the art.

Empowering Inventors and Strengthening the Patent Process

In the end, empowering inventors and making the patent process more robust can be accomplished by including creative thinking tools as part of the skill set of patent counsel. Patent counsel can improve patent claims, identify novel embodiments, propose inventive workarounds, and craft winning responses to patent examiners if they understand the “voice of the inventor” and unravel the creative process of the inventor. This increases the quality and validity of patents as a whole and encourages a culture of innovation within companies.

In addition, patent counsel can establish themselves as valuable partners and advisors for inventors and businesses that wish to protect their intellectual property if they embrace creative thinking and make it a part of their practice. Patent counsels who can think creatively stand out in the highly competitive legal landscape and attract clients who value innovative and forward-thinking approaches to patent protection.

In conclusion, patent counsel should welcome creative thinking and use tools that encourage creative thinking in their practice. By doing so, they can bridge the gap between legal expertise and inventors’ creative minds, thereby releasing inventors’ full potential and revolutionizing the process of patenting their inventions. Patent counsel equipped with creative thinking tools can better navigate the complexities of patent law while also advocating for the innovative ideas of their clients. In a world that is constantly changing, they have the potential to pave the way for ground-breaking inventions and ensure the protection of intellectual property by working together.