patent law

Patent pending

Label given to a claimed invention while the Patent and Trademark Office examines the patent application. No protection from infringement exists until a patent is granted, but this label may be used to notify customers and competitors that a patent is...

Patent prosecution

General name for the process of obtaining a patent and defending its validity if challenged via reexamination. At the core of a patent prosecution is the interaction between an applicant and the Patent and Trademark Office. The applicant is usually...

patent search

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA search of all existing or publicly available information to determine whether an invention is new (novel) and whether persons with ordinary skill in the field could have deduced it (nonobvious). A...

patent troll

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryDisparaging term for someone who sues for patent infringement but who does not make or sell any product using the patented technology.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

plant patent

Different from a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, a plant patent refers to a plant that is invented or discovered and asexually reproduced, and is granted patent by the USPTO. The patent lasts for 20 years from the...

PPA

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySee: provisional patent application

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Prior art

Loosely, all information that is publicly available before someone claims to invent something. Patents are only allowed for things that are novel and nonobvious. If the prior art contained a description of the supposed invention, it usually cannot be...

Provisional patent application (PPA)

A provisional patent application, or PPA, is an application an inventor files before the formal patent claim is ready. A PPA allows the inventor to establish an early effective filing date in a later filed nonprovisional patent application.

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PTO

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySee: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

public domain

The public domain includes every creative work that is no longer protected by a copyright, trademark, or patent. Creative works that are no longer protected are owned by the general public rather than the original creator. As such, the work...

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