Patents

Section 103 — Obviousness

Section 103 — Obviousness

Section 103 rejections are the most problematic to overcome. Section 103 prevents granting a patent where the claimed subject matter would have been obvious before the filing date of the claims at issue. In making a 103 rejection, the examiner combines references, taking elements from one reference and adding elements from other references to arrive at the claimed invention at issue.

Due to the fact that the examiner combines references, overcoming a 103 rejection can be difficult simply for the fact that not every element must be present in a single reference. This makes the pool of potential invalidating prior art much broader, and therefore more difficult to avoid.

Patent resources for small inventors.

Patent resources for small inventors.

The USPTO recommends that every inventor retain a patent attorney or agent to file their application, but this is impractical for some inventors. In recognition of this problem, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has compiled several pages of resources for inventors. I have outlined the most beneficial resources for inventors who want to know more about filing a patent. These resources include great information about the patent process, as well as assistance for inventors who want to file their own application.

Section 101 - Is your invention patent eligible?

Section 101 of the Patent Act requires that an invention be new and useful. In addition to the new and useful requirement, there are three judicial exceptions. Judicial exceptions prevent an application from being granted where the invention improperly captures a natural phenomena, abstract idea, or law of nature. For example, a patent cannot be granted on a new mathematical formula by itself, but might be granted if the invention ties the formula to a machine.