How to approach a patent rejection

how to approach patent rejection

An application must be submitted to the Patent and Trademark Office in order to receive a patent. It’s important to understand that, no matter how meticulously you prepare, your application may be reject by patent examiner . However, a patent denial is not the end of the process.  

85 percent of applications filed to the patent and trademark office receive a non-final rejection. This necessitates modifications and follow-up processes in order to develop associated applications. You’ll have to invest additional time and money to resolve the concerns highlighted by the examiner if your patent application is denied. You can save your time and money by avoiding mistakes that lead to rejection. Here are the top three reasons patent applications get rejected.

Common Reasons for patent application rejection

In order for patent applications to be accepted, the invention must meet the fundamental patentability requirements. Despite the fact that these criteria are subjective, patent petitions are often rejected when one of the following conditions is met:

  • Lacks of novelty. If the innovation for which you’re applying for a patent isn’t the first of its kind and the examiner can identify a previously patented idea that’s highly identical to yours then there are high chance of your application rejection . This is why, prior to filing your application, you should do a patentability search.
  • Obvious invention. Your patent request for an innovation may not be successful if your idea is not distinctive enough to demonstrate innovative brilliance. If your innovation lacks any distinguishing and beneficial characteristics that set it apart from similar existing ones.
  • Application errors. Patent petitions might also be refused if the application contains errors. Informalities such as missing procedural steps, incorrect grammar or language, and improper use of reference numbers are the most prevalent forms of errors. The second problem is a lack of technical information regarding your invention. A patent requires the inventor to thoroughly disclose the process to manufacture the product, including all technical information.

When you get a patent rejection, don’t consider it as a final judgment. Individuals should take advantage of the chance to learn more about the approval process and how the initial rejection may be used to improve their work. After receiving an Office action, you/your patent attorney must reply in one of two ways:

  • Defend your innovation by stating why it is unique.

You can argue that specific claim limitations/features are not included in the stated prior art reference. If the Examiner mischaracterizes the prior art, interprets it incorrectly or too broadly, or otherwise misapplies the prior art references. The examiner will then consider your points and either agree with them and seek for new references or allow the patent application to proceed, or disagree with them and keep the rejections in place.      

  • Amendments/Clarify the claim features.

You may also amend or adjust your claims to clarify your invention instead of presenting arguments. Limiting the scope of your invention or adding new features to your claims that aren’t disclosed or implied in the relevant prior art references are examples of possible modifications/amendments.

  • Convincing is the Key.

The purpose of the Office action response is to persuade the examiner to accept your claims using a combination of claim modifications and persuasive arguments demonstrating how specific claim recitations are missing from the referenced prior art. It may take several responses to different office actions to reach a point where your patent application is approved, but if you continue, you must be able to do so.

How to approach a patent rejection

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