A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to an inventor or his assignee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention. The procedure for granting patents, the requirements placed on the patentee and the extent of the exclusive rights vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements. Typically, however, a patent application must include one or more claims defining the invention which must be new, inventive, and useful or industrially applicable. In many countries, certain subject areas are excluded from patents, such as business methods and mental acts. The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent or exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the invention.

The term patent usually refers to a right granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. The additional qualification utility patents is used in countries such as the United States to distinguish them from other types of patents but should not be confused with utility models granted by other countries. Examples of particular species of patents for inventions include biological patents, business method patents, chemical patents and software patents. Some other types of intellectual property rights are referred to as patents in some jurisdictions: industrial design rights are called design patents in some jurisdictions (they protect the visual design of objects that are not purely utilitarian), plant breeders' rights are sometimes called plant patents, and utility models or Gebrauchsmuster are sometimes called petty patents or innovation patents. This article relates primarily to the patent for an invention, although so-called petty patents and utility models may also be granted for inventions. Certain grants made by the monarch in pursuance of the royal prerogative were sometimes called letters patent, which was a government notice to the public of a grant of an exclusive right to ownership and possession. These were often grants of a patent-like monopoly and predate the modern British origins of the patent system. For other uses of the term patent see Land patents, which were land grants by early state governments in the USA. This reflects the original meaning of letters patent that had a broader scope than current usage.

Law Effects
A patent is not a right to practice or use the invention.[1] Rather, a patent provides the right to exclude others[1] from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent, which is usually 20 years from the filing date. A patent is, in effect, a limited property right that the government offers to inventors in exchange for their agreement to share the details of their inventions with the public. Like any other property right, it may be sold, licensed, mortgaged, assigned or transferred, given away, or simply abandoned. 1

Canada and "others". Often. he or she can only legally build his or her improved mouse trap with permission from the patent holder of the original mouse trap. necessarily give the owner of the patent the right to exploit the patent. South Africa.[3] Typically. by an action for patent infringement in a United States federal court).[1] For example. stating that the design is covered by multiple patents in Britain. a patent covers research. patented mouse trap design. although some territories (such as France and Austria) have criminal penalties for wanton infringement. In order to prove infringement. adds a new feature to make an improved mouse trap. The grounds on which a patent can be found invalid are set out in the relevant patent legislation and vary between countries. for a US patent. however. except "purely philosophical" inquiry. Whilst an infringer is generally free to rely on any available ground of invalidity (such as a prior publication. but is usually required to provide evidence that the reasonable requirements of the public have been met by the working of invention. in the United States. the grounds are a sub-set of the requirements for patentability in the relevant country. An example is the UK Certificate of contested validity. assuming the original patent is still in force. Civil courts hearing patent cases can and often do declare patents invalid.The rights conveyed by a patent vary country-by-country. the patent owner must establish that the accused infringer practices all of the requirements of at least one of the claims of the patent (noting that in many jurisdictions the scope of the patent may not be limited to what is literally stated in the claims. Dübendorf Museum of Military Aviation.S. the patent owner will seek monetary compensation for past infringement.[2] A patent being an exclusionary right does not. by carving out exceptions from infringement for those who conduct research (e. for example due to the "doctrine of equivalents"). Enforcement The plate of the Martin ejector seat of the military aircraft. An important limitation on the ability of a patent owner to successfully assert the patent in civil litigation is the accused infringer's right to challenge the validity of that patent. patent is infringed by any "making" of the invention. Australian law permits others to build on top of a patented invention. ranging from revocation of the patent rights to the awarding of a compulsory license awarded by the courts to a party wishing to exploit a patented invention. and obtains a patent on the improvement. for example). For example. The patentee has the opportunity to challenge the revocation or license.[1] If an inventor takes an existing.g. Patents can generally only be enforced through civil lawsuits (for example. Some countries have "working provisions" which require that the invention be exploited in the jurisdiction it covers. In contrast. On the other hand. A U. and will seek an injunction prohibiting the defendant from engaging in future acts of infringement. even a making that goes toward development of a new invention — which may itself become subject of a patent. for academic purposes) on the invention. some countries have sanctions to prevent the same validity questions being relitigated. Consequences of not working an invention vary from one country to another. 2 . many inventions are improvements of prior inventions which may still be covered by someone else's patent. the owner of the improved mouse trap can exclude the original patent owner from using the improvement.

where those treaties have been given effect in national laws. because it would permit both parties to profit off each other's inventions. if two inventors are listed on a patent. however. for example.e. 3 . within the relevant patent laws. The entity or entities then become the owners of the patent when and if it issues. The third parties then own the patents as if they had originally made the inventions themselves. then each person listed as an inventor owns the patent separately from the other. it is equally common for competitors in such fields to license patents to each other under cross-licensing agreements in order to gain access to each other's patents. The United Nations Statistics Division reports that USA was the top market for patents in force in 2000 closely followed by the EU and Japan. Governing laws The grant and enforcement of patents are governed by national laws. Patent licensing agreements are effectively contracts in which the patent owner (the licensor) agrees not to sue the licensee for infringement of the licensor's patent rights. There is a trend towards global harmonization of patent laws. Ownership In most countries. territorial in nature. It is common for companies engaged in complex technical fields to enter into dozens of license agreements associated with the production of a single product. In the United States.[4] Inventors that work for a corporation. For example. Moreover. A cross license agreement could be highly desirable to the mouse trap developers discussed above. The ability to assign ownership rights increases the liquidity of a patent as property. usually in return for a royalty or other payment. Inventors can obtain patents and then sell them to third parties. Independent inventors often assign their ownership rights to a single entity so that only one entity has the right to grant a license. the inventor/s) may apply for a patent. However. It is common in the United States for inventors to assign their ownership rights to a corporate entity. both natural persons and corporate entities may apply for a patent. therefore. The patent office generally has responsibility for the grant of patents. Patents are. but are resolved privately through patent licensing. are not determined through litigation. only the natural person(s) (i. then each one may grant licenses to the patent independently of the other. and also by international treaties. If a patent issues. with infringement being the remit of national courts. often are required to assign their ownership rights to their corporation as a condition of their employment.The vast majority of patent rights. for example. however. it is nearly always required that the inventor or inventors be named and an indication be given on the public record as to how the owner or owners acquired their rights to the invention from the inventor or inventors. absent an agreement to the contrary. a nation forms a patent office with responsibility for operating that nation's patent system. with the World Trade Organization (WTO) being particularly active in this area. Commonly. The TRIPs Agreement has been largely successful in providing a forum for nations to agree on an aligned set of patent laws.

to make or practice the invention). in the context of real property. at the end of the specification. substantive patent law is contained in the Patents Act 1977 as amended. Application Main article: Patent application A patent is requested by filing a written application at the relevant patent office. under some legislations. To obtain a patent. the Constitution empowers Congress to make laws to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.[5] In the UK. using. the principles of the convention are incorporated into all notable current patent systems. Because the right to a patent is intensely date-driven. the analogous treaties among African countries. to the best of the inventor's knowledge. A key international convention relating to patents is the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Claims are often analogized to a deed or other instrument that. which is often accompanied by illustrating drawings. Claims define the invention and embodiments for which the applicant wants patent rights. and receive the benefit of the original filing date. In the United States. an applicant must provide a written description of the invention in sufficient detail for a person skilled in the art (i. unlike the body of the specification. A claim. Similar arrangements exist among the member states of ARIPO. OAPI. This written description is provided in what is known as the patent specification. The claims define what a 4 . or selling. The most significant aspect of the convention is the provision of the right to claim priority: filing an application in any one member state of the Paris Convention preserves the right for one year to file in any other member state.[7] In addition... Some countries. and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (administered by WIPO and covering 137 countries). initially signed in 1883. this right is fundamental to modern patent usage. is a description designed to provide the public with notice of precisely what the patent owner has a right to exclude others from making. that centralise some portion of the filing and examination procedure.e. the most effective way. the usefulness of the invention. The Paris Convention sets out a range of basic rules relating to patents. This has also led to many developing nations. the applicant must provide one or more claims that define what the applicant regards as their invention.e. sets the metes and bounds of an owner's right to exclude. the relevant area of technology) to make and use the invention. such as the United States. there are international treaty procedures. further require that the specification disclose the "best mode" of the invention (i. and although the convention does not have direct legal effect in all national jurisdictions. if not self evident. such as the procedures under the European Patent Convention (EPC) [administered by the European Patent Organisation (EPOrg)]. which may historically have developed different laws to aid their development." The laws Congress passed are codified in title 35 of the United States Code and created the United States Patent and Trademark Office.Conformity with the TRIPs agreement is a requirement of admission to the WTO and so compliance is seen by many nations as important. The application contains a description of how to make and use the invention and.[6] In addition. enforcing patents laws in line with global practice... The authority for patent statutes in different countries varies. The patent application may or must also comprise "claims".

and to design around and improve upon earlier patents. must be sufficiently complete so that another person with ordinary skill in the art of the invention can make and use the invention without undue experimentation. to disclose the invention once made. 333 (1881) (the "corset case"). Once a patent application has been filed.C. §102.104 U. most patent offices examine the application for compliance with the requirements of the relevant patent law. Prosecution Main article: Patent prosecution Economics For more details on this topic. that is to take legal effect. S. In most countries. [8] to keep the patent in force. R&D spending would be significantly less or eliminated altogether. Corporations would be much more conservative about the R&D investments they made.patent covers.S. In Egbert v. who can respond to the objections to attempt to overcome them and obtain the grant of the patent. For a patent to be granted. If the application does not comply. This second justification is closely related to the basic ideas underlying traditional property rights. 5 . the patent application must meet the legal requirements related to patentability. Lippmann. Many large modern corporations have annual R&D budgets of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. A single patent may contain numerous claims. as third parties would be free to exploit any developments. This decision has been codified as 35. The description of the invention. the objections are usually communicated to the applicant or their patent agent or attorney. see Economics and patents. generally due each year. which bars an inventor from obtaining a patent if the invention has been in public use for more than one year prior to filing. Once granted the patent is subject in most countries to renewal fees. each of which is regarded as a distinct invention. Without patents. limiting the possibility of technological advances or breakthroughs.[9] 1. to invest the sums necessary to experiment. there is no requirement that the inventor build a prototype or otherwise reduce his or her invention to actual practice in order to obtain a patent. however. Patents provide incentives for economically efficient research and development (R&D). the United States Supreme Court affirmed a decision that an inventor who had "slept on his rights for eleven years" without applying for a patent could not obtain one at that time. produce and market the invention. Rationale There are four primary incentives embodied in the patent system: to invent in the first place. U.

) is far more than the initial conception cost. 4. are so extraordinarily complex and the items so multitudinous that a veritable army of governmental servants is required to attend them and sort them into some order of distinguishable categories to which reference may be made when corresponding with patent applicants for the purposes of examiner citation of “prior art” disclosure. the public record ensures that the patentee's idea is not lost to humanity. Furthermore. the cost of commercialization (testing. etc. Unless there is some way to prevent copies from competing at the marginal cost of production. Thus the inventor's time and energy can be spent on pure innovation. for exploitation by anyone after the patent expires. or specific types of patents. permitting them to exclude competitors from using or exploiting the invention. In accordance with the original definition of the term "patent. when a patent's term has expired. R. 3. Awarding patents generally makes the details of new technology publicly available. inventor of the geodesic dome wrote:[10] “At present (1938). This may be subsequent 6 . In many industries (especially those with high fixed costs and either low marginal costs or low reverse engineering costs — computer processors. There are many critics and criticisms of patents and this has resulted in the formation of a large number of groups who oppose patents in general. (For example. software. the (US patent) files. companies will not make that productization investment. they would prefer or tend to keep their inventions secret. Criticism While each of the four incentives is achieved by the patent system in some contexts. tooling up a factory. and those costs fall more heavily in some contexts than others. allowing others to concentrate on manufacturability. In 1938. or for further improvement by other inventors." patents facilitate and encourage disclosure of innovations into the public domain for the common good. Buckminster Fuller. even if the competitor subsequently develops the same invention independently. and who lobby for their abolishment.” Patents have also been criticized for conferring a "negative right" upon a patent owner. the patent system has countervailing costs. once an invention exists. in many cases. Patent rights create an incentive for companies to develop workarounds to patented inventions. One interesting side effect of modern patent usage is that the small-time inventor can use the exclusive right status to become a licensor. This allows the inventor to accumulate capital quickly from licensing the invention and may allow rapid innovation to occur because he or she may choose to not manage a manufacturing buildup for the invention. Patents have always been criticized for being granted on already known inventions. and pharmaceuticals for example). the internal "rule of thumb" at several computer companies in the 1980s was that post-R&D costs were 7-to-1). thereby creating improved or alternative technologies that might not otherwise be developed. for example. developing a market. If inventors did not have the legal protection of patents.2. This complexity makes it inevitable that the human-equation involved in government servants relative to carelessness or mechanical limitations should occasion the granting of multitudes of “probably” invalid patent claims.

[citation needed] Patents may hinder innovation as the date of invention. which were in place during the Colonial period.e." During the reign of Queen Anne (1702–1714).. and a similar practice existed in some Roman cities. had to be communicated to the Republic in order to obtain the right to prevent others from using them. developed by the WTO has led to the alignment of many patent systems with regard to certain controversial issues. Etymology The term "patent" originates from the Latin word patere which means "to lay open" (i. History U. make available for public inspection) and the term letters patent. Patents granted. patent offices have accepted that computer programs can lie within the realm of patentable subject matter. The creator of a new recipe was granted an exclusive right to make the food for one year. although the regulations for when a computer program is a patentable invention differ markedly between countries. The TRIPs agreement. there is debate about. which declared that patents could only be granted for "projects of new invention. 1800–2004. 7 . and the evolving nature of technology and industry.[citation needed] Another theoretical problem with patent rights was proposed by law professors Michael Heller and Rebecca Sue Eisenberg in a 1998 Science article. such as what can be protected by patents and the issue of compulsory licences in cases of national need. or to the priority date. effectively. pejoratively known as a "patent troll".[12] There is evidence suggesting that something like patents was used among some ancient Greek cities.[citation needed] Patents in the modern sense originated in Italy in 1474.S. no one can take advantage of them as to do so would require an agreement between the owners of all of the fragments. formed the basis for modern English and United States patent law. and sues others for infringement of these patents while doing little to develop the technology itself. and reform of. the lawyers of the English Court developed the requirement that a written description of the invention must be submitted. Since at least the early 1980s. owns a portfolio of patents. once they had been put into practice. In response to perceived problems with the grant of patents. the professors postulated that intellectual property rights may become so fragmented that. [14] England followed with the Statute of Monopolies in 1623 under King James I.[15] These developments. depending upon the relevant patent law (see First to file and first to invent). patent systems around the world.[11] Building from Heller's theory of the tragedy of the anticommons.[13] At that time the Republic of Venice issued a decree by which new and inventive devices. A holding company. which originally denoted royal decrees granting exclusive rights to certain individuals or businesses.

1790 (and the subject matter of that patent was for the making of potash). After drafting an application for patent. Patent prosecution is distinct from patent litigation. and post-grant prosecution. which describes legal action relating to the infringement of patents. During this initial phase. and the first patent was issued under this Act on July 31. such as the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) in the United States. An incorrect listing of inventors may incurably invalidate any patent that might result from an application. the practitioner then files the patent application with the patent office. This determination is particularly important in the United States. several states adopted patent systems of their own. or the Manual of Patent Office Practice (MOPOP) in Canada. This is 8 . and a patent office with regard to a patent. complying with any further rules (such as having the inventor or inventors review the application prior to filing). Usually. then only the party who filed first will be entitled to seek a patent. Practitioners need to ascertain what is already known to people familiar with the general field of the invention—such already-known material is termed the prior art. and to obtain drawings and written notes regarding the features of the invention and the background. offers for sale. The practitioner may also seek to find out whether any publications. public disclosures or offers to sell an invention prior to filing an application for a patent may prevent the issuance of the patent. In the U. the practitioner seeks to file the application as soon as possible. which involves issues such as post-grant amendment and opposition. the practitioner may also seek to determine precisely who contributed to the making of the invention. and obtaining the applicant's permission. Patent prosecution Patent prosecution describes the interaction between an applicant. sometimes termed "patent preparation". The first Congress adopted a Patent Act. Broadly. the practitioner typically first drafts an application by interviewing the inventor to understand the nature of the invention and help clarify its novel features. but may be considered less important in other jurisdictions. because in a majority of jurisdictions (such as Europe and Japan) if two or more applications for the same subject matter are filed. patent prosecution can be split into pre-grant prosecution. during the colonial period and Articles of Confederation years (1778– 1789). or their representative.In the United States.S. Pre-grant prosecution Preparation of an application To obtain patent rights for an inventor. which involves negotiation with a patent office for the grant of a patent. in 1790. Under the laws or regulations of some jurisdictions. The rules and laws governing patent prosecution are often laid out in manuals released by the Patent Offices of various governments. §102. or other such public disclosures of the invention were made. these laws are laid out in Title 35 of the United States Code. or an application for a patent.

If the Examiner finds that the application does not comply with any requirements an examination report (Office Action in the US) is issued drawing the Examiner's objections to the attention of the Applicant and requesting that they be addressed. nonbinding. A search is conducted by the patent office for any prior art that is relevant to the application in question and the results of that search are notified to the Applicant in a search report. Patent applications in most jurisdictions also usually include (and may be required to include) a drawing or set of drawings. and are compared by the patent office to the prior art before issuing a patent. The search report is typically published with the patent application. background) and to what claims they are relevant. opinion on patentability may be provided with the search report in order to indicate to the Applicant the Patent Office's thoughts on an application such that they can decide how to proceed at an early stage. The materials searched vary depending on the patent office conducting the search. which uses a first-to-invent rule). for example. under the EPC). The examination of patent applications may either be conducted at the same time as the search (as in the US. 18 months after the earliest priority date. inventive step. to facilitate the understanding of the invention. patent models may also be submitted to demonstrate the operation of the invention. written description of the invention and at least one "embodiment" thereof. where a search report is not issued)." written in a special style that defines exactly what the applicant regards as the particular features of his or her invention.known as the "first-to-file rule". In some jurisdictions. or if it is not available at that time it is published once it is available. In other jurisdictions (such as the United States. These claims are used to distinguish the invention from the existing prior art. Search and examination Search and examination is the principal part of the prosecution of a patent application leading to grant. early filing may prevent the use of certain materials from being applied against the patent application as prior art while the patent application is pending before the patent office. In applications involving genetics. whether the invention is in an excluded area and whether the application complies with the various formalities of the relevant patent law. Filing an application Most patent applications have at least two components. The Applicant may 9 . but principally cover all published patent applications and technical publications. or at a later date after the Applicant has requested examination (as. including a general. Generally the examiner conducting the search indicates in what aspect the documents cited are relevant (novelty. samples of genetic material or DNA sequences may be required. and a set of "claims. This includes considering whether the invention is novel and inventive. Examination is the process by which a patent office determines whether a patent application meets the requirements for granting a patent. A preliminary.

In some jurisdictions substantive examination of patent applications is not routinely carried out. and have the benefit of reduced costs because applicants may postpone or completely forego the expensive process of examination for inventions that are of small or speculative value to the applicant's main fields of endeavor. prior art is revealed that will prevent the grant of a patent and the Applicant decides to save cost by terminating the application. Obviously such a patent does not carry the same presumption of validity as a patent that has been fully examined. for example. This gives the applicant time to evaluate which applications are worth spending money on. instead the validity of invention registrations is dealt with during any infringement action. and/or making amendments to the application to bring it in to conformity. However. for example replying to an Examination Report. or a hearing is arranged to resolve the matter. Examples include Bermuda. South Africa and Germany (in the case of Gebrauchsmusters (utility model)).[citation needed] At the same time. simply lodging an application usually preserves the applicant's right to later seek full examination and protection for his or her invention. An application may be deemed abandoned by the Patent Office if the Applicant fails to meet any of the requirements of the application process.respond to the objections arguing in support of the application. the application may be abandoned. Deferred examination In some jurisdictions (such as Japan and Korea). in some patent law systems it is possible for interested third parties to file opinions on the patentability of an application which may be taken into account by the patent office. Only a portion of the total number of filed applications are selected for examination by the applicants. This may be done if. an application is published at 18 months after the priority date. examination is optional. 10 . up to 7 years after filing. Such systems are known as "invention registration" regimes. if the Examiner's objections are valid and cannot be overcome. For example. after filing an application. Alternatively. is granted approximately 8 months after date of filing whereas in examining countries it is highly unusual for a patent to be granted in less than 3 years. The process of objection and response is repeated until the patent is in a form suitable for grant. rather than automatic. Reform legislation is set to create an opposition system in the United States. the Applicant abandons the applications. This may take the form of a formal pre-grant opposition inter partes procedure or it may simply be an opportunity of filing observations as a third party. and which should simply be abandoned. but otherwise the application lays fallow until the applicant demands examination. Consideration of novelty and non-obviousness/inventive step is left open until litigation. in Japan. Invention registration Some jurisdictions go one step further: an application is passed to issue and publication as an enforceable patent in short order. and only on request. An applicant is free to abandon an application during the search and examination process. A patent in South Africa. The search and examination process is principally conducted between the patent office and the Applicant. Another advantage with such systems is that a patent is granted relatively fast. for example. if a competitor or pirate is later discovered to infringe the applicant's invention. with no substantive examination.

In the European Patent Office. for example. Post grant prosecution Opposition Opposition is a process provided by some patent law systems in which a third party can oppose the grant of a patent in an attempt to prevent the grant (or revoke the grant of) a patent. in some jurisdictions. in interpreting the claims of the patent application. asserting that his or her patent application was wrongly rejected. Such "reissue applications" must typically be filed within a particular period of time following issuance of the original patent. abandonment is often held to have occurred if the applicant fails to respond within a certain time period to an office action issued by the patent office. Following abandonment. Further. the patent holder may even seek to broaden the scope of the invention defined in the claims by filing a reissue application. the appeals rate is much higher. the patent office or court may order that a patent be issued based on the application. or that the patent office correct its examination of the application if the patent office is found to have been incorrect. such as when the applicant is unable to convince the patent office to withdraw a rejection of his or her patent application. the patent holder may request a "reissue" of the patent to correct mistakes in the issued patent. the rate is as high as 30%.2% of all issued patents needed to be decided by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. If the appeal is successful. the rejection of the patent application may be upheld. the applicant may lodge an appeal to either the patent office or to a court of law. Otherwise. In the United States. an applicant is usually barred from later seeking patent protection for the same subject matter which was earlier abandoned by the applicant.Appeals However. or if the applicant specifically expresses his or her intention to abandon the application. such as the United States. such as insurance patents. In some areas. In some jurisdictions.[1] Abandonment Generally. the applicant must prove that the patent office was incorrect in its application of the law. Reissue. For controversial areas. or in its interpretation and application of the prior art vis a vis the patent application. and in many jurisdictions may "disclaim" his or her patent even after the patent is issued. an applicant is free to abandon his or her patent application at any time. Only about 1 . in most jurisdictions. any person may file opposition to the grant of a European patent within nine months from grant. if the applicant is not found convincing. if the examiner and the applicant cannot reach agreement regarding the patentability of the application. Such abandonment may occur during the prosecution process. however. For such an appeal to be successful. although a broadening 11 . About 10% of the business method patents that issued in 2006 had to be appealed. such as business method patents. Reexamination and Interference Once a patent is issued. appeals are fairly rare.

This "interference practice" is not followed in most other jurisdictions. not only the patent holder or inventor. usually accompanied by newly discovered prior art and/or an explanation of the relevance of the prior art to the claimed invention. the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA). reexamination may be requested by anyone. It grants only the right to exclude others. Authorisation is usually obtained by passing examinations set by the appropriate patent office. Many firms specialize in patent law and are often called "boutiques" or "IP boutiques".reissue in the USA must be filed within 2 years from grant. It does not. Also. Also. Unlike reissue. without the considerable cost and lengthy time required for a full infringement lawsuit or declaratory judgment action. "reexamination" refers to the process of requesting that the patent office once again subject an issued patent to further examination. During an interference.[2] References 1. see patent attorney. inventors) can generally represent themselves. thereby proving that the representative is competent in the relevant laws and processes. in the United States. ^ a b c d "A patent is not the grant of a right to make or use or sell. Due to the highly complex nature of patent prosecution it is generally advisable to employ a professional representative when applying for a patent. imply any such right. only the patent holder may file for reissue. Patent agents and attorneys For more details on this topic.e. are tributary to such earlier 12 . although whoever requests reexamination must also submit the fee (which is about equal to the full cost of filing a new patent application). The supposition that a right to make is created by the patent grant is obviously inconsistent with the established distinctions between generic and specific patents. and the patent office issues a decision following the trial-like interference process. A list of UK patent attorneys (agents) can be found through the professional body. in the United States. parties may submit evidence supporting their contention to be the earliest inventor. A benefit of reexamination is that issued patents may be either invalidated or once again deemed valid. because it is obviated by the "first-to-file" system used in most countries. although applicants (i. In United States patent practice. and with the well-known fact that a very considerable portion of the patents granted are in a field covered by a former relatively generic or basic patent. the patent office may declare an "interference" and require that each of the parties appear before the patent office to determine who was the earliest to discover the claimed invention. In some jurisdictions only authorised practitioners can act before the patent office. directly or indirectly. if two patent applications are filed which set forth claims directed to the same subject matter.

5.D.. 4. 800 bis 1400.S. 584-85. and cannot be practiced unless by license thereunder. ^ DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary (2005) Patent Litigation across Europe. “Throwing in the Patent Sponge”. Wolf.S. Special Problems in Patent Cases. Retrieved on 2007-06-05. 1911) 2. ^ Wolfgang-Pfaller. 4.): Europäische Technik im Mittelalter. Markey (chief judge of the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and later of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit). 280(1 May 1998). Chapter 36. ^ U. Copyright and Trademark Office (USPTO). 529. IP Australia (2006). P.S. R. 579. Retrieved on 2007-07-25.C. in: Uta Lindgren (Hrsg. Title 35 — Patents 6. 7. (1998). ^ Assignee (Company) Name. Co. Aufl. Patent Activity 1790 to the Present 13. 280. 112 CCA 185 (6th Cir.A. 8. 15. S.. Berlin 2001." . M.R. ^ What are the steps in getting a patent?. Help Page.patent. ^ Howard T. 13 . Retrieved on 200708-12. 191 F. 698-701. Patents.Herman Patentgesetz von Venedig (German / Italian). Code collection. U. UK Intellectual Property Office (2006).. Tradition und Innovation. ^ History of Copyright.. 1975. Retrieved on 2007-08-12. Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons in Biomedical Research. Youngstown Car Mfg. handout available as per this link. ^ Nine Chains to the Moon. p 277 11. see the Maintenance fee (patent) article for more details 9. & Eisenberg. ^ the US being a notable exception. ^ Heller. 66 F. Questions and Answers on Patents. Greenfield & Sacks. ^ United Kingdom law requiring no explicit authority due to the Supremacy of Parliament. ^ (German) Helmut Schippel: Die Anfänge des Erfinderschutzes in Venedig. ^ U. 10. Science.539-550 ISBN 3-7861-1748-9 14. ^ What is a Patent?. 3.S. 12.

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