Glossary IZI Patents B.V.

AbandonedIf a fee is not paid in due time or a reponse to an Office Action is not filed timely, the patent application will be considered abandoned or deemed to be withdrawn and, therefore, no longer pending.
AbstractStandard part of the published patent (application), containing a brief summary of the invention.
AmendmentsChanges that are made to a patent application, in particular to the claims. For example in response to an Office Action of an Examiner.
Annuity (Fee) / Renewal (Fee)A fee to be paid to keep a patent (application) in force. In many countries this fee is to be paid periodically.
AppealProcess by which a party challenges a decision taken by the Patent Office, such as a decision to refuse a patent application. Decisions on appeals are taken by independent boards of appeal.
Application(Patent) application.
Chapter II DemandSee "Request for Preliminary Examination"
ClaimsAn essential part of a patent (application), specifying the protection that is to be granted by the patent.
CommunicationAlso called Office Action; a communication in writing of an Examiner, which assesses whether the application meets the legal requirements.
DescriptionAn essential part of a patent application, also called specification; it provides support for the invention as claimed and provides the necessary details for the skilled person to reproduce the invention. The description further specifies the technical field to which the invention relates and indicates any prior art the applicant is aware of.
Divisional ApplicationA type of patent application which contains matter from a previously-filed application. A divisional application is, for example, filed when an application describes more than one invention.
Due dateDate on which a time limit expires, for example for filing a response to an Office Action or for the payment of an annuity.
EPOEuropean Patent Office. Provides a uniform application procedure which enables inventors to seek patent protection in almost 40 countries on the European continent with one procedure.
ExaminerPatent Examiners are civil servants working at a patent office. They review patent applications to determine whether a claimed invention should be granted a patent. In general, the most important task of a patent examiner is to compare the invention to what is already known.
ExtendibleSome time limits in relation to Patent Prosecution are extendible, mostly upon payment of an extension fee.
Filing dateThe date on which the patent application was filed in a Patent Office, i.e. the date on which that application is legally accepted at the patent office. The filing date of a patent application can be legally antedated by a valid priority claim.
Filing feeAn amount to be paid to the Patent Office for the filing of a patent.
GrantThe grant of a patent application, after which the applicant obtains the corresponding patent rights.
Grant DateThe date on which patent rights are obtained.
Industrial ApplicabilityA requirement of many patent systems, requiring that an invention should be susceptible of industrial application, i.e. that an invention can be made or used in some kind of industry, including agriculture.
International Phase (PCT phase)A centralized (international) phase within the PCT-procedure.
Invention Disclosure DocumentA confidential document written by a scientist or engineer for use by a company's patent department, or by an external patent attorney. It describes the invention and serves as a basis for deciding whether a patent application is to be drafted for the invention (also called ID or IDD).
Inventive StepA requirement for patentability. An invention is considered to involve an inventive step if, in the light of what is already known, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.
IPIntellectual Property
ISRInternational Search Report; a search in the prior art for the assessment of novelty and inventive step, performed during the PCT-procedure.
Issue Fee / Grant fee / Registration FeeBefore a patent will be granted, payment of this fee is required.
IssuedTerm that indicates that a patent was granted in the US. In Europe, the term Grant is used. The applicant receives a Patent Certificate, also known as Certificate of grant of a patent.
National phase / Regional phaseThe prosecution phase wherein an international application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) becomes subject to examination at a national/regional level. In the United States, the term national stage is used instead.
Non-unityOpinion of the Examiner that there is more than one invention in a patent application. This does not comply with the requirement that a patent application can relate to only one invention (or to a group of inventions that belong to a single general inventive concept).
Non-extendable dateNon-extenable time limit. Failure to comply with this date will result in the patent (application) being considered withdrawn of deemed to be withdrawn and, therefore, no longer pending.
Notice of Allowance / Decision to GrantAnnouncement that the Patent Office will grant a patent (NoA).
NoveltyA patentability requirement according to which an invention is not patentable if it was already available to the public before the date of filing, in written or oral form, by use or in any other way.
Novelty searchReport on the results of the search in the prior art, performed by a Patent Office. This generally forms the basis for the assessment of whether the invention is new and involves an inventive step. Also referred to as Search Report (SR).
OCNL/NLOCAbbreviation for OctrooiCentrum Nederland or NL Octrooicentrum, respectively. This center is a subsidiary of the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO). This is the Dutch Patent Office.
Office Action / Official Action / Official LetterAlso called Communication; a communication in writing of an Examiner, who assesses whether the application meets the legal requirements.
Official feeAmount to be paid to a Patent Office, for example for filing, examination, grant, publication or to maintain a patent (application). The applicable rates for taxes are established by (national) law.
OppositionProceedings before a Patent Office in which a third party opposes the grant of a patent in an attempt to have the patent (partially) revoked.
Patent A territorial right to prevent others from commercially exploiting an invention, i.e. to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, importing, etc. A patent is granted to an inventor/applicant or his successor in rights in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. A patent is granted for a limited period of time (the term of the patent), often 20 years.
Patent ProsecutionThe interaction between applicants and a Patent Office with regard to a patent application, with the aim to have the patent granted. This occurs by Office Actions sent by the respective Patent Office and by responses, filed by the applicant, thereto.
PCTPatent Cooperation Treaty. International treaty which provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each of its almost 150 contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application, or PCT application.
PCT-applicationAn international patent application; the applicant only needs to submit one single application, which will have effect in all (approximately) 148 PCT-contracting parties. An international application does not lead to an international patent.
PDAbbreviation for Premier Depot. This is the so-called priority application; the first application on a particular invention that is filed.
PendingTerm which indicates that the patent application is under consideration of a Patent Office (a so-called pending application).
Prior artPrior art is constituted by all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date such as the filing date. If an invention has been described in the prior art, a patent on that invention is not valid.
PriorityThe priority right is a right to claim priority from an earlier application. Claiming priority gives the later filed application a priority date of the filing date of the earlier application. If others, within the same year, for the same invention, file a patent application or publish the invention, the applicant is still the first, due to the so-called priority right.
Priority dateDate of filing of the earliest application for an invention.
Priority documentOfficial proof of the priority application. When invoking a priority right, this piece of evidence must be submitted when filing a subsequent application.
Priority yearThe year after the date of filing of the first patent application. Within this year, the applicant can further elaborate the invention and decide whether he wants protection in other countries.
PublicationA patent application is usually made public eighteen months after its filing.
Request for ExaminationThe Examination is the actual grant procedure of a patent, which involves a discussion (on paper) with the Examiner. The Examination is initiated by filing a Request for Examination. It this is not filed timely, the patent application will be abandoned.
Request for Preliminary ExaminationA possible part of the PCT procedure, involving a discussion (on paper) about the Search Report and Written Opinion with the Examiner.
Restriction RequirementPart of the patent granting procedure in the United States. If the US Examiner finds that several inventions are disclosed in the patent application, the applicant must make a choice with which invention(s) he wants to proceed.
ROW 1995Patent Act 1995, the currently valid patent law in The Netherlands.
SRShortcut for Search Report, also called Novelty Search. See above.
State of the artAll information publicly available prior to the priority date of an application, which may anticipate the invention and prevent the grant of a patent.
Validation in EuropeOnce a European patent is granted by the EPO, the patent must be validated in European countries designated by the applicant. This procedure involves compliance with national procedural requirements that apply in a country. There is a separate procedure for each European country.
WIPOWorld Intellectual Property Organization; Agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting the protection of intellectual property throughout the world by encouraging co-operation between nations.
Written OpinionThe Written Opinion is attached to the Search Report and includes the opinion of the Examiner on Novelty, Inventive Step and Industrial applicability of the invention.

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