INTER PARTES REEXAMINATION

The statute governing reexamination was amended in 1999 and 2002 to create a right for inter parties reexamination. Basically, the party bringing the request for reexamination is allowed to participate more fully in the reexamination process, including filing of appeals to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) and to the Court of Appeals…

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REEXAMINATION

Pfizer recently received an adverse determination of the patentability of one patent (of several) for Lipitor. The “Patent Baristas”1 reported that Lipitor is set to become the worlds first $10 billion a year drug. The adverse decision was made regarding an issued patent in response to an ex parte reexamination request. Such a request can…

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DOUBLE PATENTING

As explained in the article entitled Patent Applications, a patent provides a 20 year monopoly granted by the Federal government. Not surprisingly, you can’t extend the monopoly by patenting the invention twice. The idea that an invention only is allowed to be patented once, is related to the idea that a patent can cover only…

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SOFTWARE PATENTS IN EUROPE

There have been many recent blogs regarding the wisdom of modifying the rules of the European Patent Office to extend patent protection to computer software. Many of the articles imply that neither software nor business method patents are granted by the European Patent Office (EPO). That implication is contradicted by a scholarly article authored by…

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INTERNATIONAL PATENT PROTECTION

It must be remembered that US patent prohibit the unauthorized manufacture, use or sale of patented goods within the US. This includes prohibiting the importation of goods manufactured off shore. Filing for patent protection for foreign markets requires separate action. It is a relatively complex and expensive endeavor. However, there are useful guides and summaries…

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DESIGN PATENTS

In addition to utility applications and provisional applications, the USPTO also grants patents for ornamental (non-functional) designs. The term of the design patent is 14 years from the date of issuance. (Contrast this to the utility application term of 20 years from the date of application.) It is not possible to file a provisional application…

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A PATENTING FLOW CHART

Document invention in writing, signed and dated (Invention Disclosures.) Do your best product literature search. Include what you believe makes your invention better, faster, cheaper, etc., from the prior art. File provisional patent application in USPTO. Include “oath of Inventor” and at least one patent “claim”. Do in-depth patent search. Start development and implementation of…

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PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATIONS

Provisional patent applications can be of great benefit in protecting innovation. They must be used, however, with a full understanding of the limited protection provided. A provisional application is a patent application. It is a type of a utility patent application. It may be thought of as a temporary application good for only for 12…

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