Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Patent Law and other Invention topics.
The type of technologies and products that receive patents are often quite complicated. That's why inventors file for an invention patent for each of their separate discoveries. Even in the best of circumstances, even when you hire a patent attorney to help you file a patent, a mistake can get made. The US Patent and Trademark Office can accidentally issue a patent with a miscalculation or misinterpretation in it, or you can decide--once you review your issued patent--that the wording needs to be more clear or different to offer you adequate coverage.
Remember, your competitors can and will try to take advantage of any holes in your patent application. You should discuss these possibilities with your patent lawyer so you can brainstorm on the best wording possible to protect your invention patent. When you discover a mistake in your patent, you can obtain a change so long as the error was not made deceptively. If possible, always use a Certificate of Correction form to have such a change made. You may be able to find this form at uspto.gov, and you can use this certificate whether the mistake was committed by you or the US Patent and Trademark Office. There will likely be a fee that needs to be submitted with this form if the mistake was yours, and you should include a cover letter as well describing what is being submitted.
Mistakes you have corrected on your patent cannot be material changes that would materially affect the scope and meaning of your patent. Corrections to issued patents may take as long as three or four months to receive. Your Certificate of Correction can be sent via first class mail but keep records of everything you sent and the date you sent it.