In 2000, patent attorney Jeff Grainger filed his provisional application for a "computer implemented method for securing intellectual property rights." The claimed method consisted of a system that used an electronic information disclosure form that actively prompted users to provide invention-related information and then automatically converting the information to patent application format. The dependent claims focused on specific prompts – such as "best mode" and "enablement" information.
The first rejection came in 2005, followed by a final rejection in 2006 and the BPAI appeal finally decided in 2011.
The key prior art cited by the examiner was the old ePave filing system.
In the BPAI appeal, Grainger's attorneys at the Kilpatrick Townsend firm had argued that the claimed active prompting for best mode or enablement information was a non-obvious advance over the prior art. The board rejected that argument – explaining that one of skill in the art knows the statutory requirements for a patent application and therefore "ePave's data fields for submitting the Specification, with their textual cues that the Specification is asked for" renders the claimed invention obvious.
At that point the applicant gave-in and has allowed the application to go abandoned – apparently without further continuation.
Grainger is now a partner at the early-stage start-up and investment group known as The Foundry. Back in 2000, he was a founder of First to File, Inc., which he then sold and which now holds the intellectual property rights.