Here we have identified and defined some of the most common terms of commercialization process:
Abandonment: stopping the prosecution process of an application or invention; can be implicit, such as failure to reply to an office action or pay a prescribed fee within the time period allowed or explicit, such as the applicant or his agent informing the patent office that further prosecution will not be pursued.
Amendment: answer to an office action by a U.S. patent examiner, usually modifying, correcting, striking or adding claims, or correcting drawings in an attempt to overcome objections to the application.
Anticipation: an invention lacks patentable novelty if it has been anticipated,exists as prior knowledge, or has been established by publication or use prior to the claimed date of the invention.
Application: the complete, formal document filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office requesting the grant of a patent; includes an oath, specification, claims, and drawings; the application must include a disclosure of the invention that would enable a person of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention.
Assignee: one who receives rights in a patent from another by the signing over or assignment of a right.
Assignor: one who can assign rights to a patent.
Claim: a statement by the patent applicant specifically describing the heart of the invention; claims establish the essence and scope of protection given to the patent owner continuing the same disclosure, but with claims directed to an invention that differs from the original application; usually filed in response to a Restriction Requirement from USPTO.
Exclusive license: an agreement granting one party the exclusive rights under a specific issued patent restricting the licensor from granting license to another party.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): signed by President Clinton on Dec. 8, 1994; one resulting change is a U.S. patent granted on an application filed after June 8, 1995, will have a term of 20 years from the filing date rather than the previous standard of 17 years from the date the patent was granted; GATT also provided for provisional applications.Infringement:commercially using an invention protected by a valid patent without the consent of the patent owner.Interference: a proceeding for the purpose of determining which of two or more applications for the same invention is from the legally recognized inventor.
License: an agreement allowing another party to commercially use an invention.
Non-exclusive license: an agreement for use by a licensee in which the license or reserves the right to make similar agreements with other parties.
Notice of Allowance: indicates that the patent examiner has determined a patent application has met the statutory requirements for patentability and the patent will issue at some future date.
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): a multilateral treaty effective in 1978 that eliminates some of the duplication involved when obtaining patent protection for the same invention in several countries; more than 100 nations are signatories of PCT;with PCT it is possible to file and prosecute a single international application, which has the same effect as filing a separate application in each PCT nation that the inventor designates at the time of filing the application; PCT neither creates an international patent nor changes the substantive requirements of patentability in any individual PCT nation(including the United States), it merely reduces the duplication of effort required to file and process parallel applications in several nations simultaneously.
Prior art: similar work in literature, issued patents, or published patent applications throughout the world; this body of information in combination with any other public knowledge.Provisional patent application: accepted since 1995, the provisional patent application provides an early priority dat ewithout counting against the 20-year patent life. Requirements for filing are specifications,drawings (if necessary), filing fee, and assignee; no claims are submitted withthe provisional application.
Public disclosure examples: e-mail, newsgroups, seminars at universities or companies, Web pages, student theses, conference posters, and published papers.Publication:any disclosure in a form distributed to or accessible to the public that provides enabling information.Reduction to practice:completion and actual operation of an invention, including testing; not required for patentability.
Royalty: payment for use of an invention, usually a stated percentage of product sales.