What is a patent specification?

What is the purpose of a patent specification? The specification of a patent serves a different purpose than that of the claims. Whereas the claims define the legal scope of protection, the patent specification describes the invention and provides support for the claims. In a utility patent, the specification includes the drawings and the written […]

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What a USPTO patent examiner really thinks

Thinking like a patent examiner We are privileged to have a former USPTO patent examiner, Lyman Smith, as Of Counsel patent attorney to our firm. The following insightful answers come from Lyman’s familiarity with the inner system of the US Patent Office. Keep in mind we are talking about utility nonprovisional patent applications, and not […]

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Patent publication = published patent application

What is a patent publication? A patent publication is a published utility patent application. A patent publication is not a patent. While a published patent application may eventually issue into a patent, the patent publication consists of only the application itself, namely, the drawings and written specification. The patent publication does not provide information about […]

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Fight for broader patent claims?

Broader patent claims: when less is more Before we dive into this discussion, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what we mean by broader patent claims. When it comes patent claims, broader does not necessarily mean more. In fact, it’s the opposite. Narrow claims state several elements, or claim limitations. Broad […]

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Patent strategy: 5 steps to improve chances of getting a patent

Your patent strategy depends on your goals Patent strategies should be dictated by end goals. So it makes sense to start with a worthy goal, and then work backwards to formulate a patent strategy to achieve that goal. Since every patent application is different, let me generally suggest a goal that would broadly fit the […]

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Are photos or color drawings allowed in a US patent application?

Color Drawings & Color Photographs in Utility Patent Applications Color drawings are acceptable in US patent applications, but not in international applications (see PCT Rule 11.13). For utility applications, the following are required for submitting color drawings [see see 37 CFR ยง 1.84(a)(2)]: A petition explaining why the color drawings are necessary as the only […]

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What is the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program (FAI)?

What First Action Interview is not Let’s first clarify what the First Action Interview (FAI) program does not do. The FAI program does not apply to design patent applications which require a design Rocket Docket request. The FAI program also does not shorten the waiting time for the first Office Action, also known as First […]

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What is PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway)?

What is PPH? PPH stands for Patent Prosecution Highway, a cooperative program between the USPTO and participating foreign patent offices to expedite the allowance of utility patent applications that previously received favorable rulings. In order to take advantage of this program, the US utility patent application must have a counterpart application with the same claims […]

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Provisional vs. nonprovisional patent application: What are differences?

What are the differences between provisional and nonprovisional patent applications? A nonprovisional patent application is normally considered the regular utility patent application. It’s what you file to get the USPTO to examine your utility application and hopefully grant your patent. A provisional patent application, on the other hand, does not get reviewed. If done correctly, however, […]

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How to get international utility patents

Is there only one way to get international patent rights? No, there are multiple ways to obtain foreign utility patents. While there is no such thing as an international patent, there is an international patent application called the PCT application. Eventually, you still will need to file separate utility patent applications in each desired foreign […]

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