After 14 months from the filing date of the patent application, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will conduct its own patent search and render an office action. The office action is merely the official stance of the United States Patent and Trademark Office as to whether to grant or deny the application for patent. The office action will contain a notice of allowance but more than not it will contain reasons for rejecting the application for patent and a time frame for responding to the office action. To find out more,click here.
Responding to the office action
In responding to the office action, the goal is to narrow the claims just enough so that the examiner will allow the claims for issuance of a patent. The claims are sufficiently broad if the competitors would have some sort of difficulty in designing around the issued patent claims. Also, the patent claims must be broad enough to cover the customer’s product. Hence, during patent prosecution, the claims should be reviewed for potential design arounds and product coverage. To find out more, click here.
To improve one’s opportunities in securing patent protection, it may be beneficial to interview the examiner. To find out more, click here.
Information Disclosure Statements
During the pendency of the patent application, the inventor, assignee, attorneys and any related to the patent prosecution has a duty to disclose material information to the examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office as to pertinent prior art references. To find out more, click here.