Is an English translation of a foreign priority patent application required?

When filing a conventional direct priority U.S. non-provisional patent application claiming priority to a foreign application filed within 12 months (Paris Convention, not PCT), an English translation of the foreign priority document is not required. 37 CFR 1.55(g)(3) states: (3) An English language translation of a non-English language foreign application is not required except: (i) When the application is […]

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Design Patents vs. Utility Patents: What are the differences?

Design Patents vs. Utility Patents The essential distinction between design and utility patents is the difference in protecting “How it looks” (design) vs. “How it works” (utility).  If you’re concerned about competitors copying the appearance of your concept, then apply for design patents.  If you want to protect the functional features of your concept, then apply for […]

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Can an expired patent still serve as prior art?

Yes, because prior art has nothing to do with whether a prior patent is live or dead. The relevance and content of the teaching are what matters. Therefore, an expired patent is no different from, for example, a white paper in that both contain publicly accessible information that could block a later-filed patent application claiming the […]

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Can I share my patent pending idea?

Should I share my idea before applying for a patent? It’s almost never to your benefit to disclose your concept before filing a patent application. By doing so, you lose foreign patent rights and risk someone filing first with the Patent Office. What can be shared after filing a patent app? The question arises as to what […]

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What is joint ownership of a patent?

Each co-owner of a jointly held patent can make, use, sell and license the patented invention. Licensing is the main concern with a jointly owned patent since each co-owner can grant non-exclusive licenses without having to obtain the consent of other joint owners. Joint patent ownership can create a messy situation where no single patent owner has the […]

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What are parent and child patent applications?

What is a parent application? A parent application is typically the first non-provisional patent application filed for an invention. It is possible that a parent application may disclose multiple inventions. What is a child application? A child patent application is filed while a parent application is still pending (i.e., not issued or abandoned). By linking a child to […]

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What is intended use claim language?

“Intended use” refers to language in a patent claim that arguably describes a purpose or function of the thing being claimed. It is, therefore, not given any patentable weight by a patent examiner who has deemed a claim limitation to constitute intended use. By regarding certain claim language as intended use, the examiner can generally disregard the […]

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How do I get international or foreign design patent protection?

On May 13, 2015, the U.S. became a participant in the Hague Agreement on international registration of design patents. U.S. applicants can now file a single design patent application and seek protection in multiple member countries of the Hague Union, similar to the streamlined patent protection afforded by the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for utility patent applications and that […]

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