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US Patent Application FAQs

Updated:2018-5-2 10:23:39    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:402

A patent is a property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor "to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States" for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. The following are the frequently asked questions about patent application in the United States.

Q1: Who can apply for a patent?
A patent may be applied for only in the name of the actual inventor.

Q2: What can be patented?
What can be patented - utility patents are provided for a new, non-obvious and useful:
Article of manufacture;
Composition of matter;
Improvement of any of the above.

Note: In addition to utility patents, encompassing one of the categories above, patent protection is available for (1) ornamental design of an article of manufacture or (2) asexually reproduced plant varieties by design and plant patents.

Invention must also be: Novel; Non-obvious; Adequately described or enabled (for one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention); Claimed by the inventor in clear and definite terms.

Q3: How to apply for a patent?
Inventors may apply for one of two types of patent applications: (1) A non-provisional application, which begins the examination process and may lead to a patent and (2) A provisional application, which establishes a filing date but does not begin the examination process. Both types of patent applications can be filed either electronically by using the Electronic Filing System (EFS) or in writing to the Commissioner for Patents.

Q4: What will happen if an application is filed with an abstract that has more than 150 words?
When an application is originally filed with an abstract having more than 150 words, the Office of Initial Patent Examination (OIPE) will send applicant a notice to correct the abstract (with a period for reply of two months). The application file will be held in OIPE and not released to the assigned Technology Center for examination until an acceptable abstract is filed.

The mere presence of an abstract which fails to comply with amended § 1.72 will not prevent an application from being accorded a filing date. It will, however, delay the initiation of the examination. Failure to comply to the notice within 3 months, in an application subject to Patent Term Adjustment, may cause a reduction of any patent term adjustment.

Q5: What time frame does accelerated examination typically take to process?
Once a petition for accelerated examination has been granted to an application, the goal of the accelerated examination program is to complete the examination of an application within twelve months from the filing date of the application, resulting in a final disposition. In any event, this twelve-month time-frame is simply a goal. Any failure to meet the twelve-month goal, or any other issues relating to this twelve-month goal, are neither petitionable nor appealable matters. The final disposition of an application, however, may occur later than the twelve-month time-frame in certain situations.

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