Patent Office

Patent Office

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Patent Office

There is only one Patent Office in the U.S. and it is found in Arlington, Virginia, close to Washington, DC. Once the patent application has been filed with the Patent office, a patent examiner carefully reviews the application in order to determine the invention’s patentability. The examination process takes 12 to 18 months depending on the workload and staffing of the Patent office. The Patent office examiners only verify that the description and claims per description by their inventors or patent attorneys, are new, unique, and not obvious to the Patent office. The Patent office examiners do not verify that an invention works or that it can ever be, or never has been, built. They try only to correctly verify that the invention is patentable and has not been patented in the U.S. before and their results have been overturned on more than one occasion. The Patent office will not tell you if your invention has already been invented by someone else unless you apply for a patent.

The U. S. Patent Office charges a minimum of about $4,000 over the life of the patent. To be patentable, an invention essentially must meet the following requirements set by Patent office which are: (1) useful, (2) novel, and (3) non-obvious. The novelty requirement of Patent office is often consider the entry test for patentability. It generally is satisfied unless: (i) prior to the inventor’s invention date, the invention was actually reduced to practice or an application disclosing it was filed by one still diligently pursuing it, or it was patented by another or published anywhere in the world by others or publicly known or used in the U.S. by others, or (ii) prior to one year before the filing date of the inventor’s patent application, patented or published anywhere in the world or in public use or on sale in the U.S. as a result of the acts of the inventor or others. This effective one-year grace period for such acts of the inventor is unique to the U.S. patent laws.
The probably more demanding, non-obviousness requirement by Patent office is harder to objectively define. The typical way that an examiner in Patent office shows obviousness is to cite a number of prior art references that, when combined as suggested by possibly another prior art reference, contain all of the elements of the applicant’s invention. The applicant generally challenges the logic of the combination and identifies certain secondary considerations that suggest that the invention was not obvious for instance long duration of well recognized need for the invention, prior unsuccessful efforts of others to develop such an invention, degree of commercial success of the invention.

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