I J K
V W X Y Z
When the examination of a patent application is halted for failure to file a
complete and proper reply as a condition of the application
within the time period required.
A brief summary of an invention. A concise statement of the
technical disclosure including that which is new in the art to
which the invention pertains.
A request to a patent office for the early consideration of a
A legal practitioner or
individual who is registered to practice before a patent office,
who is not an attorney but who is authorized to act for or in
place of the applicant(s) before a patent office.
An explanation in a patent application, of secondary or
derivative but still useful practical applications of an
invention. Usually, these variations of the invention are
included so that an applicant doesn't lose their right to
commercialize them in the future.
The inventor or joint inventors
who are applying for a patent on their own invention.
An application for a patent, filed at a patent office. For
specific kinds of applications that may be filed, see
provisional, utility, incomplete, industrial design, and design patent definitions
in this glossary.
All that is known about a particular classification or field of
invention, e.g., the state of the art. An expression or phrase
that has a defined meaning when used in a particular context or
knowledge environment (such as the patenting process,
pharmaceuticals, computers, etc.)
Transfer of ownership of a patent application or patent from one
entity to another, often from the inventor(s) to the company
that employs them or funds their inventive work.
Any lawyer who is a member in
good standing of the bar in a specific region, who is also
registered to practice before the
patent office in that region.
When the scope of the claims are broad, they capture or include
as many variations of an invention as are allowed under the law,
and serve to protect said invention from "working around a
patent" by finding a loophole in the claims that allow a
competing product to be legally sold without infringing.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office, the Canadian government
department which examines patent applications and issues patent
That part of a patent that defines the boundaries of patent
descriptions that define an invention, derived from and
supported by the specification, comprising those aspects which
are legally enforceable. Well written claims are critical to
surviving the examination process and preventing any potential
Classification (or Class)
Patents are classified (organized) by a system of
numeric codes (cf. Dewey decimal) used to describe every similar
grouping of patent art. A single invention may be described by
multiple classification codes.
The exclusive right to
reproduce a creative work granted by a country to the creator of
that work. Examples of copyrightable properties include
software, books, music, scripts, artwork, etc. Protection is
automatic as long as the date of the work's creation is
verifiable as well as the identity of its creator, and lasts
their lifetime plus 50 years.
An exclusive right granted to anyone who invents a new,
original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
In order to apply for a patent,
the inventor provides a complete description (disclosure) of the
invention for which exclusive protection is sought. Disclosure
can also describe the circumstance where an inventor has allowed
information about his invention to enter the public domain,
potentially limiting his patent rights.
The USPTO eliminated its Disclosure Document Program on February
1, 2007. See Provisional below.
Patent drawings must show every feature of the invention as
specified in the claims. Omission of relevant drawings may cause an
application to be considered incomplete, but only if drawings
are needed to understand the subject matter for which the
inventor is seeking the patent.
A discretely claimed component
of a patent claim or drawing figure.
Any manner in which an
invention can be made, used, practiced or expressed. (see
A patent application must
disclose a claimed invention in sufficient detail for any person
skilled in the relevant art to be able to carry out (reproduce)
that claimed invention. In the US, the patent specification must
be complete enough so that a person of "ordinary skill in the
art" of the invention can make and use the invention without
The right of the patent owner
to bring an infringement lawsuit against a party who, without
permission, makes, uses or sells the claimed invention.
The period of enforceability of a patent is the length of the
term of the patent plus the six years under the statute of
limitations for bringing an infringement action. (US)
An official with technical expertise charged with the task of
classifying a patent or an application, or of determining
whether a patent application fulfils the requirements for a
grant of patent.
The process by which a patent office determines whether an
application warrants the granting of a patent.
See Advanced Examination.
The act of delivering a patent
application to a patent office, and usually paying the
appropriate filing fee, which then generates a filing date or a
priority date when officially received.
The date of receipt in the office of an
application which includes (1) a specification containing a
description and, if the application is a non-provisional
application, at least one claim, and (2) any required drawings
Incomplete Application (CA)
Filing a Canadian patent application which is missing some
critical element, such as claims or drawings, and which is
classified as incomplete by the patent office. Current rules
allow up to one year to file the missing elements, which
effectively provides an
equivalent to the US
provisional application process.
The features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or
combination thereof) applied to a finished article of
manufacture. A model or pattern from which an item is reproduced
more than fifty times is classified as an industrial design.
Industrial design patents are usually more straight forward to
produce compared to utility patents, but the designer is granted
only ten years exclusive protection.
The use, manufacture, sale, or reproduction of
intellectual property by any party not its legal owner, or
without their explicit permission (i.e., by licensing agreement).
Intellectual Property (IP)
Creations of the mind - creative works or ideas embodied in a
form that can be shared or can enable others to recreate,
emulate, or manufacture them. Patents, copyrights, trademarks, integrated
circuit designs, industrial designs & business methods [US
only]. IP is now considered a business asset, and is often
crucial in assessing the true value of a company.
Any art or process (way of doing or making things),
machine, manufacture, design, or composition of matter, or any
new and useful improvement thereof, or any variety of plant
patentable by a country.
Invention Report (IR)
A preliminary IP document describing an invention
in detail and often
used as the foundation for a patent application
or a technology feasibility paper.
An IR is written by a patent paralegal and
can include drawings, search reports, prior art comparisons and
a glossary of terms.
An agreement whereby an inventor grants
a manufacturer the right
to produce and sell their invention in
exchange for a royalty payment or a lump sum.
Fees required after the granting of a patent,
which must be paid to the patent office or the patent becomes
abandoned. Fees are "progressive", which means they go up the
longer the patent is active.
Often when an
inventor writes their own patent, they are fixated only on the
current version of their invention, and do not see what else it
can become. In this case, narrow claims restrict the protection
afforded by a patent, and open the door to a competitor filing a
similar patent which exploits these loopholes, which can allow
them to legally make a similar product that wasn't claimed by
the original inventors patent.
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
A contract legally protecting the inventor from
unauthorized disclosure of their invention to third parties.
Inventive Solutions requires that all inventors sign an NDA before
disclosing their ideas during a consultation.
Patent paralegals often work
for lawyers or agents, helping to administer the preparation, prosecution, and maintenance
of patents. Experienced
patent paralegals also perform patent searches, prepare patent
drawings, and assist in editing, proofing and drafting patent
Partial Patent Application
See Incomplete Application (CA)
An intellectual property right granted by a specific country to an
inventor which excludes others from making, using, offering for
sale, or selling the invention throughout said country, or
importing the invention into said country for a limited time, in
exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent
Patent Application (PA)
A patent application includes (1) a
specification containing a description of the invention and, if
the application is a non-provisional application, at least one
claim, and (2) any required drawings.
A phrase that often appears on manufactured items
denoting that someone has applied for a patent on an invention
that is contained in the manufactured item. It serves as a
warning that a patent may issue that would cover the item and
that copiers should be careful because they might infringe if
the patent issues. Applying patent pending to an item when no
patent application has been made can result in a fine.
A review of existing patents. Patent searches are conducted to
determine whether an applicant can claim rights to an invention,
or whether a patent has already been issued to someone else on
the same or a similar invention. Patent infringement searches
are made to ascertain whether a product or process can be
produced without having to get permission or pay a royalty.
Patent searches are also used as a form of research to gain
information on existing technology.
Patent Search Report (PSR)
A document describing in detail the results a of
a patent search for any relevant prior art concerning a proposed
invention, for the jurisdictions in which the proposed patent
applications will be filed.
A person who stands for or acts on behalf of another. A patent
attorney or patent agent may represent the inventors named in a
patent application. (Also known as a representative)
An explanation in a patent application, of the most appropriate
and useful practical applications of an invention. Usually, this
version of the invention is the one expected to be
The listing and description of all previous
patents which a new invention may infringe upon. The body
of existing patents or patent applications or any other
publications or public disclosures throughout the world, relevant to an application or
The date upon which a new idea is provably conceived by the
inventor (as recognized by US patent law), or the date when an
application is filed with the patent office (most of the rest of
A contract between Inventive Solutions and their
client which describes the project, defines the terms & services
provided, and outlines performance. It is only valid
when signed & dated by both parties.
All the steps involved in
following through on a patent application, whereby an inventor
or their representative negotiates with a patent examiner for
the ultimate issuance of a patent registration.
Provisional Patent Application (PPA)
patent system, the submission of preliminary documentation to
the patent office, which affords the inventor up to one year
patent pending protection, as long as they submit a full
application by year end. Documentation does not have to be as
rigorous as it does with a full patent application.
Any instance of releasing
enabling information about an invention prior to any filings
which might harm or limit or overturn the issue of a patent.
Disclosures include, but are not limited to publications,
tradeshows, youtube, websites, lectures, interviews, television
shows, white papers, grant proposals, non-confidential meetings
or discussions, public use or sale. Most, but not all countries
have a one year grace period.
What is included - as in the
scope of a claim. The scope may include only those elements that
pertain to the current prototype of the invention, so the claims
could therefore be called narrow. Or the scope could be as broad
as possible, including as many variations and alternatives as
are conceivable in order to claim the maximum property rights
for an invention, as long as supported by the rest of the
Small entities are companies having 50 or
fewer employees, and universities, but do not include any entity
controlled directly or indirectly by any entity, other than a
university, that employs more than 50 employees.
A part of the patent
application which includes a detailed description of the
invention, the manner and process of making and using the same,
claims specifying the aspects of the invention for which
protection is sought, and the extent of the protection being
Clearly identified proprietary
business information for which reasonable efforts of
confidentiality have been maintained. Some methods used to
trade secret include non-disclosure agreements, notices of
confidentiality, effective computer security, and preventing
public disclosures of proprietary information.
The exclusive right to use, reproduce, or sell a
word, combination of words, symbol or graphical design granted to its
owner/designer by a country.
US Patent and Trademark Office, the US government department
which examines patent applications and issues patent
An exclusive right granted to anyone who invents or discovers
any new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of
manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful
(* Note: Some definitions include elements from US & CA
patent office glossaries under fair use rules.)