What is nonobvious?

What does “obvious” mean in patent language? The everyday colloquial use of the term “obvious” is so simple that it can be hard to define. Both dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster share a common definition of easily seen or understood. You can say that obviousness refers to something that is evident or recognizable. In the patent world, […]

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How to patent government funded inventions

What is an invention funded by the federal government? Certain rules pertain to any private companies or persons seeking to patent a federally funded invention. We will dive into certain basic rules further below. At the outset, let’s clarify which government funded inventions are subject to these rules. Under the Bayh-Dole Act which is codified […]

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What is a patent rejection?

Has your utility patent application been rejected? If so, welcome to the club. Approximately 90% of utility patent applications will get rejected. Utility applications often receive multiple patent rejections. So do not be disappointed. Rejections are the norm for utility patents. This article will help clarify a patent rejection so that you can form an […]

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What is a utility divisional application?

When is a divisional application appropriate? The option to file a divisional application arises if an Examiner thinks that your patent application contains multiple inventions and thus issues a Restriction Requirement compelling you to pick one. A response to a Restriction Requirement must include an election of certain claims, thereby leaving non-elected claims to be […]

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What is a Species Restriction?

What is a species restriction? A species restriction differs from the more commonly known Restriction Requirement which arises when an Examiner feels that a patent application has multiple inventions. In a species restriction, the applicant is required to make an “election of species” according to patentably distinct species carved out by the Examiner. Species restrictions […]

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What are hidden or unexpected patent costs?

Expecting unexpected patent costs I still remember the one piece of sage advice given to prepare me for my wedding day: expect the unexpected. Having the expectation that not everything would go as planned helped my bride and me to avoid getting frazzled when the inevitable hiccups occurred. My goal with this article is to […]

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How much does a utility patent cost?

What is a realistic cost estimate for obtaining a utility patent? Why write another post on patent costs when I’ve already written several articles, such as initial filing estimates, start-to-finish costs, prices of Office Action responses, and more? If you search for “how much does a utility patent cost” online, you may get some rough […]

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What Patent Examiners Need vs. What They Get

If you want to know what makes for a well written patent application, it may help to understand what USPTO examiners really think. According to a 2020 survey of 850 USPTO patent examiners, helpful insights were provided on the readiness of a patent application. What was interesting to see was not only the ranking of […]

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What to do before utility patent application is published

Utility nonprovisional patent applications are typically published around 18 months from the priority date. This event usually comes and goes without much fanfare. Before your patent application is published, applicants should consider at least two questions: Have any improvements or modifications been made? Do you want to protect those changes in foreign countries? Applicants who […]

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What is a patent specification?

What does a patent specification do? A patent specification is typically distinguished from the claims. The specification comprises the drawings and written description. Whereas the claims define the legal scope of protection, the specification describes the invention and provides support for the claims. The specification is generally not intended to limit the patented invention, but […]

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