Attacking a “Junk Patent”

Introduction: Sometimes the USPTO screws up and issues a patent for a product or method that has been used in the industry or is well known.  Junk patents are often used by “patent trolls” to extort money from legitimate businesses.  Congress sought to provide a remedy from junk patents being asserted against businesses.  In 2012,…

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Is It Patentable? III

Introduction: Is it patentable?  An inventor is entitled to a patent unless the invention is not patentable subject matter (Section 101), is not novel (Section 102) or is obvious (Section 103).  I have discussed what is and is not patentable subject matter.  See my posts of Patenting Computer Software and Avoiding Unpatentable Ideas.  I have…

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Is it Patentable?

Introduction: Is it patentable?  This is the ultimate question when considering how to protect your good idea.  The answer depends upon several considerations.  First, is it patentable subject matter?  Also is your idea already known?  If not already known, is it merely an obvious variation or combination of things that are known? The most common…

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Overcoming Obviousness Rejections

Introduction This article addresses overcoming obviousness rejections.  This is sometimes referenced as a Section 103 rejection.  Rejections under 35 U.S.C. 103 are the most common basis for an examiner refusing to allow issuance of a patent.  Section 103 states that an improvement or modification that would be obvious to a hypothetical person of ordinary skill…

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Sample Patent Flow Chart

Introduction: Attached below is a sample patent flow chart.  I start with the inventor’s conception of the idea.  Included are the steps to be taken to reach the point of possible patent filing.  (Note my sample assumes that a provisional application is filed first.  However it is possible to go directly to the Non-provisional application…

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Post Patent Grant Challenge

INTRODUCTION: After you have achieved the award of a patent, you may still be subject to challenge from competitors.  You may face a post patent grant challenge.  Part of the America Invents Act or AIA the USPTO established a procedure called a Post Grant Review.  The procedure gives third parties up to 9 months after the grant of…

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Patent Goulash For Engineers

INTRODUCTION: I wrote an article in October 2019 for mechanical engineers (and others) warning that the Section 101 morass, i.e., Patent Goulash, was not limited to computer software business methods or medical diagnostic procedures.  The long twisted arm of unpatentable “natural law” and “abstract ideas” was extending to patent applications for improved mechanical structures.  See Mechanical Engineering and…

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Design Choice and Obviousness

INTRODUCTION: Many of my recent articles have focused upon the whether an innovation is eligible for patent protection.  This has been described as a Section 101 issue.  Many innovations have been barred from patenting as being merely abstract ideas.  This is a confused area.  However, even if an innovation is deemed patentable subject matter, it still needs to be…

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Appealing an Obviousness Rejection

INTRODUCTION: This article looks at appealing an obviousness rejection. It should not be a surprise that there are obstinate patent examiners.  For whatever reason, they can be determined to not allow your patent application.  Frequently, this situation can be experienced when an examiner rejects your application based on alleged obviousness (a 103 rejection).   An assertion of obviousness…

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Patent Classification Review

Introduction Crafting the specification, and particularly the claims, of a patent application can be critical to the chances of ultimate allowance of the application into a legally enforceable patent.  This applies not only to distinguishing your invention over the prior art or confirming that your invention is eligible for patent protection, e.g., not merely an abstract…

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