How does the USPTO get prior art?

How do USPTO patent examiners get prior art? When examining patent applications, USPTO examiners get relevant prior art through two primary means: the patent examiner searches the prior art; and relevant prior art is submitted for the examiner’s consideration. The active approach of the examiner searching prior art is straightforward and no different than what […]

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How to patent a product

Should you file a patent application? Before diving into the details of how to patent a product, let’s consider a more fundamental question: Should you patent your product or idea? A wise IP strategy should take into consideration the following factors before filing patent applications: Product lifespan (How long will the product realistically last in […]

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Medical device patents: What to know

Start with prior art It seems that innovation in the medical device field generally enjoys a greater probability of making it to the marketplace. When a particular area of technology has a greater chance of making money, you can expect more patent filings. So expect the prior art of medical device patents to be crowded. […]

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What is a supplemental amendment?

When is a supplemental amendment appropriate? As suggested by its name, a supplemental amendment is an additional reply to a patent Office Action. Supplemental replies should be filed only under the following circumstances: (A) Cancellation of a claim(s);(B) Adoption of the examiner suggestion(s);(C) Placement of the application in condition for allowance;(D) Reply to an Office […]

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To file an RCE or not?

When does an RCE matter? RCE stands for Request for Continued Examination. To file an RCE or not to file – this is a question that often arises in the context of responding to a final Office Action (FOA) in a utility patent application. An RCE would not be involved in design patent applications or […]

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How to read a utility patent

How to read a utility patent Utility patents can be confusing to understand. You have the claims which read like a foreign language, and the description which typically discloses details that are more specific than the patent owner would prefer. How do we make sense of these various parts of a utility patent? Let me […]

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How to write a patent abstract

What is a patent abstract? A patent abstract is a short section of a utility patent that concisely summarizes the invention. Preferably located after the claims, the abstract should commence on a separate sheet under the heading “Abstract” or “Abstract of the Disclosure.” The purpose of the abstract is not to disclose all the details […]

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What is a patent Examiner’s Amendment?

What is a patent Examiner’s Amendment? I love Examiner’s Amendments. Not only is the patent examiner willing to allow a patent application, the examiner is taking the initiative to amend the application in order to issue a Notice of Allowance. Agreeing to an Examiner’s Amendment is more expeditious than filing your own amendment because you […]

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How to revive abandoned patent application

Can an abandoned patent application be revived? Under certain circumstances, yes. An abandoned patent application may be revived depending upon the following key factors: reason for abandonment; and length of time it took for the applicant to seek revival. What is abandonment? A patent application typically becomes abandoned due to the applicant’s failure to take […]

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