Abandonment of Invention: To relinquish rights in an invention. An invention is considered to be abandoned, if within a reasonable time after the invention is completed, no actions are taken to make the invention publicly known.
Abandonment of Patent Application: To relinquish, either by express abandonment or by inaction, a patent application. Abandonment by inaction typically involves failure to take a required action (e.g., filing an incomplete response or not paying a fee) during the statutory period for taking the action. A patent application that was unavoidably or unintentionally abandoned can be revived by petition.
Abstract of the Disclosure: A short description of the novel features of an invention.
Absolute Novelty: A requirement of some patent offices (but not the USPTO) that public disclosure or sale of an invention anywhere in the world cannot occur prior to the filing of a valid patent application.
Action: An official communication from a patent office usually requiring some response by the applicant.
Admissions by Applicant: A statement by an applicant for patent that can or is used to deny the patentability of an invention, in some cases regardless of whether the statement is true.
Advisory Action: An action advising an applicant of the status of an application, typically advising him/her that the amendment filed just prior to the mailing of the advisory action does not place the application in condition for allowance of the claims.
Affidavit: A written, sworn statement that includes facts in support of the patentability of an invention. An affidavit or declaration is used to "swearing behind" a reference and an affidavit or declaration is used in traversing a rejection
Aggregation: A ground for rejection of a patent claim that is based on a lack of cooperation among the elements of an invention.
Allowance: A decision by a patent office that an applicant is entitled to a patent on an invention.
Allowance, Notice of: A written notice by a patent office that an applicant is entitled to a patent on an invention. An issue fee must be paid within the period for response or the application will become abandoned.
Alpha Subclasses: In the U.S. patent classification system, sub classed means that it has an alphabetical suffix.
Amendment: A change in any part of a patent application made after it is filed. Also, the communication from the applicant to a patent office directing or requesting that a change be made is also called an amendment. Amendments are typically made to overcome rejections, objections or requirements made by the patent office.
Annuity: An annual fee that must be paid to most patent offices to maintain a patent in force. The fee is called a maintenance fee.
Anticipation: A situation that exists when the claimed invention is not novel in view of the prior art. To anticipate a claimed invention, a prior art reference (normally one) must teach every element of the claim.
Appeal: A request that a higher authority in a patent office or a court, review an adverse patentability decision by an examiner. In the USPTO, an appeal is first taken to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.
Appeal Brief: A written communication submitted to a higher authority reviewing an adverse patentability decision by an examiner. In the U.S. an appeal brief must set forth arguments and cite authorities in support of the patentability of the claim or claims under appeal.
Appellant: A patent applicant who has appealed the decision of a patent examiner to a higher authority.
Application (for Patent): A document describing a claimed invention and requesting that a patent on the claimed invention be granted to an applicant. An application must include a specification and a drawing (if required to understand the invention). A regular U.S. patent application must also include at least one claim and it must be accompanied by an oath and a fee. In addition to a specification and a fee, a provisional patent application must be accompanied by a cover sheet and a fee.
Applicant: A person who is applying for a patent. The applicant must be the inventor, except in exceptional circumstances. One or more than one person can apply for a patent. In jurisdictions other than the U.S., any legal "person" (e.g., individual or corporation) may be an applicant for a patent.
Application, Continuation: A subsequent application for the same invention disclosed in a prior (regular or non-provisional) application that is filed before the original application becomes abandoned or patented. This is also referred to as a continuing application.
Application, Continuation-in-Part: An application by the same applicant repeating a substantial portion or all of an earlier (regular or non-provisional) application and adding matter not disclosed in the original application that is filed before the original application becomes abandoned or patented.
Application, Divisional: A later application "carved out of" an earlier application for an invention that is disclosed in the earlier application but that is distinct or independent from the invention claimed in the earlier application.
Application Series: A grouping of application serial numbers (the last six digits of the application number) having the same series code.
Art Unit: An Art Unit is a subunit of a patent examining group. May also be referred to as a Group Art Unit.
Article of Manufacture: A product, a physical thing. There is no clear difference between an article of manufacture and a machine. Under U.S. law, it is one of the statutory classes of inventions.
Assert: To assert a patent is to attempt to enforce it. This is used to prevent an unlicensed party from practicing an invention.
Assignee: A recipient of an ownership right in a patent application, patent or interest in a patent application or patent.
Assignment: A transfer by a party of all or part of its right, title and interest in a patent or patent application to another party. In this regard, patents have the attributes of personal property.
Assignor: To transfer part of an ownership right in a patent application, patent or interest in a patent application or patent.
Abandon: To explicitly or implicitly relinquish a potential patent right. Simple inaction may render a patent right abandoned.
Active Inducement to Infringe: One may be held liable for patent infringement as a result of actively encouraging another to infringe even though the inducer has not made, used, sold, offered for sale, or imported the patented invention.
Affidavit: A signed statement (filed with the patent office) putting appropriate facts or opinions on record.
Anticipation: This is when the prior art indicates that a patent application lacks novelty.
Apparatus Claim: This refers to a patent claim, which describes structurally a piece of equipment and is embraced by the expression "machine" in the definition of patentable subject matter in the U.S. Patent Statute.
Application (For Patent): Papers comprising petition, specifications, drawings (when required), one or more claims, oath or declaration and filing fee, whereby an applicant seeks a patent.
Application: A written document seeking patent protection and filed with the Patent and Trademark Office. The application must include a disclosure of the invention that would, without undue experimentation, enable a person of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention; at least one claim; drawings (if drawings are necessary to understand the invention); and disclosure of what the inventor views as the best mode for practicing the invention. The claims of the application define the invention and the scope of the coverage sought. The written description and enabling disclosure are typically found in the specification portion of the application. The specification is the narrative portion of the application, along with the drawings, if present. The specification includes the description of the preferred embodiments or best mode of practicing the invention. It may include a summary of the invention; a description of the background of the invention, including prior art or the problem dealt with by the invention; and a description of the drawings. The specification may also include an abstract of the disclosure.
Apportionment of Profit: As a measure of damages in patent-infringement litigation, apportionment generally refers to dividing the profits on the sale of a particular piece of apparatus or a product according to the percentage of cost or sale price attributable to the patented invention and a portion not so attributable. In instances where the entire product is patented or the patented component contributes essentially all of the market value, such apportionment is not required.
Assignee:The person or corporate body to whom all or limited rights under a patent are legally transferred.
Attorneys’ Fees Award: In exceptional cases in patent infringement litigation, the court may require the losing party to pay the attorneys’ fees of the prevailing party.