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Comprehensive Patent Terminology – List of Patent Terms

This page contained patent terminology for letters A through C, Click these links for:

Patent terminology for letters D through H

Patent terminology for letters I through O

Patent terminology for letters P through Z

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Patent Abandonment

Patent applications must follow deadlines prescribed by the USPTO. If deadlines are not met for responses, or if applications are abandoned, then their status as pending is ended.

Patent Annuity fee

Fee paid to the USPTO for renewing or keeping a patent up to date.

Patent Application

A request from a patent holder or patent seeker to the patent office requesting the grant of a patent. The term patent application also refers to the actual contents of the patent application, i.e. the customary portions of the patent application such as patent claims which nail down the scope of protection sought, patent descriptions, renderings, etc.

Patent Assignor estoppel

In US patent proceedings, equitable estoppel which bars a patent’s seller from an attack on the validity of a patent in situations where it is shown after the fact that they infringed the patent.

Patent Catch & release

A patent owner may buy patents, offer licenses to users or members and later sell their rights. Catch and release of patents is also common for owners who buy a patent, then donate it.

Patent Chapter I

Patent Cooperation Treaty holds that “Chapter I” specifies the procedure where no damands under Article 31 are made.

Patent Chapter II

In the Patent Cooperation Treaty, “Chapter II” specifies the procedure where a demand is made via Article 31.

Patent Claim

Refers to the extent and type of protection which a patent grants. If patent is in application or pending, a patent claim refers to the extent and scope of protection being sought in the application process.

Patent Clearance search and opinion

This refers to a patent search which is performed against a database of issued patents as well as with respect to pending applications for patent whereby it is determined whether a new patent application process would likely infringe on existing patents or on any pending applications for patent. These type of patent clearance/opinion searches may at times be referred to as freedom-to-operate.

Patent Common general knowledge

A concept of the law which is used to assess if an invention will be involving an actual inventive step. It also addresses whether a patent disclosure for the invention is clear enough and complete to the level which a skilled individual in art would be able to carry out the instructions of the patent. It must be generally accepted and known in the field for it to fall under common general knowledge. For example, if only 3 or 4 people in a field (essentially almost 0%) feel that something is common to them, this condition would not have been met.

Patent Compulsory license

Using compulsory patent licenses, governments may force patent holders to allow use of patent and generally are paid accordingly for the use.

Patent Continuing application

An active application for patent, before final action is delivered can spur additional patent applications regarding additional patent claims and these carry priority date attached to the original application for patent. As the shift is made to published patent applications, patent continuing application is becoming common to produce submarine patents.

Patent Contributory infringement

A type or form of patent indirect patent infringement.

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