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 […]
Drawing the line between old and new The term “prior art” is frequently used in the patent world to refer to what already exists. It’s the old stuff that can’t be patented again. Prior art may consist of documents, things and processes that have been sold or used in the past. When it comes to the […]
What is a novel invention? Patent novelty refers to the uniqueness of an invention, but it’s actually much more specific. An invention is novel if no single prior art reference discloses all the components that form the claimed invention. So, the two critical pieces of information that must be analyzed to determine novelty are: patent claims; […]
What is an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS)? A patent applicant has a duty to disclose to the USPTO all known prior art or other information may be material to the patentability of the applied for invention. To satisfy this duty of candor, the prior art information is submitted to the USPTO in the form of […]
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 […]
“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 […]
What prior art documents should be included in an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) to be filed with the USPTO?
Every patent applicant has a duty under U.S. patent law to disclose to the US Patent and Trademark Office any known prior art documents that are material to the invention claimed in the patent application. Since the duty applies only to known prior art references, the applicant does not have an obligation to search for prior art. However, […]