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Comprehensive Patent Terminology – List of Patent Terms III

This page contains Patent terminology for letters I through O, Click these links for:

Patent terminology for letters A through C

Patent terminology for letters D through H

Patent terminology for letters P through Z

If you’re about to get involved in the patent process or need to find a good patent lawyer, see the thousands of patent lawyers listed in our directory. You’ll certainly be able to find a patent attorney listed for your area!

 Patent Indirect infringement

A specific type of patent infringement whereby third party persons or companies supply a product for which the purpose is that it be used to essentially make your own version of the patented device which is claimed in the infringed patent. For example, if a company holds the patent to creating a particular antennae for your mobile device, the company guilty of indirect infringement would essentially be guilty of selling plans or direction to make your own replica of the patented antennae.

Some jurisdictions hold indirect infringements to also be considered a type of “contributory infringement” or in some language the wording “induced infringement” is also used to describe this type of patent indirect infringement.

Patent Induced infringement

This type of infringement refers essentially to a particular version of indirect infringement.

Patent Industrial applicability

This requirement is a part of many patent systems, which essentially requires an invention to be able to follow industrial applicability tests. The industrial applicability of a patent must be met in these various circumstances in order for a patent to be successfully granted for a particular patent.

Patent Information disclosure statement

This disclosure statement is a submission providing background art for relevant information to the USPTO. The patent applicant provides this type of disclosure specifically during patent prosecution.

Innovation patent

This kind of patent specifically refers to patents for works invented with a particularly short commercial life whereby they represent more of a step-wise advance in the existing technology and not necessarily a ground breaking new invention. For this type of patent, the protection generally spans a shorter period of time such as 8 years versus 20.

Patent Interference proceeding

During this patent proceeding of the USPTO, it is decided who specifically will be granted a patent.

Patent Invalidity opinion

An opinion regarding the invalidity of a patent. This opinion is also often referred to as a “validity opinion.” It is a an opinion with legal weight that is provided on behalf of a patent applicant or patent holder by the attorney representing such entity. The opinion describes legal basis and a legal opion as to whether a court might rule one way or another regarding the validity of a patent which has been issued. This kind of legal opinion specifically is used in order to determine the chances that a patent will be defensible in court. Invalidity opinions provided by patent legal experts and supported by experts in the area of science, innovation, or technology addressed by the patent are typically sought before moving forward with patent litigation.

Patent Invention disclosure

This confidential document is generally written on behalf of a patent holder by an expert or scientist or other form of expert such as an engineer in order to document the patent within a company’s patent group. Some companies have a patent department whereas others rely upon external groups such as patent attorneys or other patent experts in determining if patent protection is necessary to protect their described invention.

Patent Invention promotion firm

A company which provides patent services for inventors and helps these inventors to develop, legally patent, and also in some instances to market inventions on their behalf or work together with the patent holder to obtain licensing agreements with business in the specific area in which the patent is based. For example, a patent invention promotion firm might help an inventor who has invented a new screen for a television to develop relationships in the electronics industry whereby the invention could be licensed to existing corporations in the electronics industry. In other cases, the invention promotion company could help the inventor to obtain funding, create marketing methods such as infomercials or other types of marketing in order to promote the invention.

Patent Inventive step

This is a requirement for patentability which holds that an invention needs to be, well, inventive! Being sufficiently invention means that the patent is non-obvious. If a patent is sought for something that is obvious, such as patenting the process of using two hands to button a shirt, the patent inventive step would fail to be met, and the patent would not be granted.

Patent Inventor

The actual inventor or devisor of a patented or non-patented or patent pending invention. In some cases, the employer of an inventor is the holder or owner of the patent, but is not the actual inventor. In some cases, an inventor is not alone, but is joined by co-inventors. Groups of inventors can be named on a patent and it need not be a single person or entity.

Licensing of patents

A process whereby a patent is not produced internally but instead if licensed to companies which produce, market, and distribute the invention. In some cases, a company may obtain a license from the original inventor whereby they use a part or portion of the patent, or by which they enter into joint ventures with the patent holder to create or to distribute a patented device.

Patent Licensing Royalties

There are many types of Licensing Royalties for patents including compulsory patent licensing, patent cross-licensing, defensive Patent Licenses, and more.

Letters patent

This out of use term in patent terminology refers to an actual formal, bound copy for a patent which the USPTO provides to an inventor upon granting of the patent. This is no longer provided to an inventor in this format.

Patent License

A patent license refers to a contract which parties enter as licensor and licensee. The licensee is granted authorization for using a patented invention and in exchange the licensor is paid royalties in most cases.

Patent Machine-or-transformation test

This requirement holds that a process which is claimed to be patent-eligible in the instance that it is firstly specifically connected or “tied to” an actual device, apparatus, or machine. Secondly, the patent machine-or-transformation test holds that the patent must transform the device to which it is connected into a different type of device.

Patent Maintenance fee

A maintenance fee paid to the USPTO to keep either a patent in force or to keep a patent application active. This is often referred to as a patent “annuity fee” or a patent “renewal fee”.

Patent Markman hearing

A patent pre-trial proceeding during which testimony is presented to a judge by both parties (in the case of a disagreement regarding a patent). The subject matter of the Markman hearing is whether the relevant wording or key words relevant to the patent have been used properly in a patent claim. This is in the case where a patent holder alleges patent infringement.

Patent McKesson Reference

An Information Disclosure Statement which refers to communication between patenting authority with regards to a specific application for patent. The term McKesson refers to the McKesson v. Bridge Medical patent legal decision whereby the applicant has failed in some way to notify the patent authority of specific communication in regards to the patent.

Patent Marlow Reference

An IDS (Info. Disclosure Statement) referencing a specific court document such as a legal memorandum opinion, patent court order, or other legal patent document which pertains to specific litigation at hand. The litigation generally involves a patent application or a patent already obtained. The term Marlow refers to the case Marlow Industries, Inc. v. Igloo Products Corp. in which a patent decision found the applicant did, in fact, have a duty to notify the patent authority regarding such communication.

Patent Method

A patent can notably make a claim upon a specific a process or type of specific method as opposed to patenting an actual device or apparatus. A patented method gives the patent holder the right to exclusively operate or use the patented process or method. They may exclude other parties from using the method even if they are using any various machine to operate according to the method.

Patent National phase

A national phase refers to the prosecution phase of a patent in which an international patent application which has been filed according to the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The national phase ushers in anb examination on a national level. In the US Patent Law, “national stage” is synonymous with the phrase “national phase.” (See US Patent Law 35 U.S.C. § 371.)

Non-obviousness of Patent

A patent’s ability to be patent is based in meeting minimum standards for patentability by which a particular invention cannot be obvious to reasonable people. The non-obvious nature is required to keep things which are obvious or which are already being used generally from being patented and excluded from the general public or commercial world.

Non-patent literature

NPL is technical documentation which is technically not the patent itself. This non-patent literature (NPL) is also separate from a patent application itself. The term is generally used when a patent is being litigated in some form. During prosecution of a patent, this non-patent literature refers generally and especially to technical papers, scientific papers , or other industry documents which demonstrate prior art showing that an invention which has been claimed by a patent or which have been claimed in a patent application were not the original inventor or devisor of this process or device. This literature shows that a patent is being attempted to be obtained for something which is either obvious previous to the patent filing.

Novelty of Patent

A requirement for patenting which holds that a patent must be new. If it is not novel, or new, the patent may not be obtained.

Patent Nullity action

This is patent litigation initiated from some party which is attempting to move to make the patent revoked. This term is also often referred to as a patent revocation action.

Patent Office action

A legal communication from an examiner in the USPTO directed on an inventor or directed to an attorney representing an inventor which details specifically which patent claims in the application have been allowed for later publication as well as which have specifically been rejected in the patent application. The patent examiner from the USPTO provides reasons accompanying rejections and allowances.

Patent On-sale bar

This legal doctrine of patent law prevents the granting of patents for inventions which are subject of patents which have been on sale during the year prior.

Patent Opposition proceeding

Legal patent proceedings during which opposition parties to the grant attempt to get the patent revoked. This type of patent opposition proceedings can occur before or after the patent has been granted.