Before an application for a patent is filed, a search should be conducted to ensure that the invention is novel and nonobvious. If the search results suggest that an invention may be patentable, an application is then prepared. An application consists of two parts: the specification (describing the invention) and an oath or declaration. After the application is filed at the USPTO, it will be examined for patentability. Application proceedings at the USPTO are confidential until the application is published, generally 18 months after the application filing date. The examiner may issue office actions, requiring amendment of some of the claims of the invention. No new matter can be added to an application. When an application is allowed by an examiner, a notice of allowance is issued, and an issue fee must be paid to the USPTO for the patent to be granted. The term of utility and plant patents is 20 years from the date of filing of the application. The term of design patents is 15 years from the date of grant. Maintenance fees must be paid at three intervals during the term of a utility patent to maintain it in force. Once the patent is issued, its owner may exclude others from making, selling, importing, or using the invention for the term of the patent.
The following topics will be covered in this session:
Date: February 23, 2017
Time: 10:00am to 10:15am PST
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Fundamentals of Legal Research
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