This page contains all of the terms and abbreviations used on this website and by the industry.

Term Description
Claims This is part of the patent application form. This section defines the legal protection requested for the invention. A "strong" patent is defined with many claims covering a wide range of functionality designed to give the inventor the maximum protection possible for his invention. On the other hand, defining too many wide claims is making the application more vulnerable for prior publications. This means that a good patent attorney should know to expand the claims of a patent to the maximum degree allowed by existing prior publications at the time of filing. top of page
Dependent claims Claims that include referrals to prior clams and limit the protection they provide to specific characteristics top of page
Design A product in which the innovation lays in its exterior shape and design. A design is aimed at protecting innovative designs even without new functionality. top of page
Innovation Innovation must exist in order for any invention to be protected by a patent. It is a universal concept which means that any prior publications anywhere in the world prior to the priority date of the inventor, prevents the receipt of patent protection. According to common patent laws any prior publication which enables an average professional to reach the same invention makes patent protection for that invention unavailable. This means that mentioning the invention in an amorphic and non specific manner may not constitute prior publication. But if the details in an article or a physical product allows an average professional to create the invention then these are considered prior publications and prevent patent protection top of page
Invention A new product or process for which the inventor is seeking patent protection. top of page
Inventive step The law defines inventive step as a progress that does not seem trivial and straight forward to an average professional based on prior publications in the field of the invention. Inventiveness progress is a basic condition that must exist before any invention can claim patent protection. The purpose of this is to prevent additional, new patents, for every little change and modification to existing patents. top of page
Independent claims Claims defining the widest common grounds for an invention top of page
Inventor The person who came up with the invention. This should not be confused with the patent owner. People can buy and sell ownership over patents as with any other asset. top of page
IP Intellectual property - Any property which is not physical. Which cannot be held by someone or transferred between people. Patents, trademarks, and designs are the building blocks of Intellectual Property. The ownership of IP is managed by each country individually. For most countries there is a patent and trademark office which manages the registration, approval, assignment and enforcement of rights in IP. In the US this is handled by the USPTO.top of page
Paris treaty An international treaty dealing with IP rights in the various countries. This treaty enables a priority date to be kept for twelve months, this means that the inventor can file additional patent claims in other countries who signed this treaty and his filing date will be the original filing date (in whichever country he filed initially) top of page
Patent The right to prevent any person or entity, except for the owner of the patent to use an invention or product. The patent owner can assign the right and grant usage to other people or entities for the patent. top of page
Patent description This is part of the patent application form. This section describes the invention in a non legal language and should include: field of invention, the problem solved by the invention, description of prior patents and knowledge, invention definition, main differentiators between prior patents and the invention, attached drawings and their descriptions, a description of the invention that will allow an professional to create it, the description how to use of the invention, and any experiments conducted relating to the invention. top of page
Patent examiner Patent examiners are the employees of the patent office. Each patent application is reviewed and examined by a patent examiner. They decide whether to approve the patent application or deny it. A major part of an examiner work is searching various databases in an attempt to determine if the specific patent application being examined represent real inventiveness progress or not. top of page
Patent lawyer A lawyer registered with the patent office. A patent lawyer is entitled to practice patent, design and trademarks applications. He is an expert in preparing the appropriate application documents and submitting them to the relevant patent office. He also has the skill to manage the application process which may take years. top of page
Patent owner A patent is considered an asset with clear monitory value. The person registered with the patent office as the owner of the patent is entitled to use it, or assign the rights of using it to others. top of page
Patent publication date The date in which the patent was first made public. It takes approx 18 months from the time a patent application is submitted to the time the patent is published by the patent office. top of page
Patent registrar The person heading the patent office. He is appointed by the minister of justice. top of page

Patent search

The patent search is a critical phase conducted by the patent examiner at the patent office before approving or denying a patent application. It is highly recommended to perform professional patent searches before submitting a patent application to minimize the risk or the patent application being denied by the examiner after discovering prior publications. top of page
Patent summery This is part of the patent application form. This section includes a brief description of the invention. top of page
Patent Title The name of the invention describing the field of the invention. A patent or invention can have any title. Inventors tend to give general names to their patents and inventions in order to make it more difficult to find prior publications in a search. In such cases a simple keyword search may not reflect the correct status and prior publications for such invention. top of page
PCT

Patent Corporations Treaty - The PCT treaty deals with international patent applications. The treaty was signed in 1970 in Washington DC. Its goal is to create a unified mechanism for registering patents in multiple countries, based on a single international patent application. The treaty is managed by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) located in Geneva. To date 120 countries have joined the treaty.
A PCT application filed in any country which is part of the treaty translates to that country examining and approving a local patent, then submitting the application to the rest of the PCT countries which treat the application as a local patent application and approve it locally.

The PCT process is compose of two major parts:

1) International phase
The inventor files the PCT application with his local patent office. The patent office examines the application briefly but does not reach any definite conclusion about it yet. A copy of the application is sent to the international office (WIPO). There a thorough examination is conducted and the search results are sent to the requester and the national office where the request originated from. The international office will publish the patent and the search report within 18 months of the priority date for the invention.

2) National phase
Each local office is informed of the application and is requested to examine it as a local application. Then a patent should be approved or denied in the specific country. The national phase of the PCT prompts fee payment for each country as required to evaluate the application. top of page

Prior publication or Prior art A verbal, written, presentation, or public display, anywhere in the world of an invention prevent anyone from receiving patent protection for that invention. Obviously a publication of a patent in any country also constitutes prior publication. According to common patent laws any prior publication which enables an average professional to reach the same invention makes patent protection for that invention unavailable. This means that mentioning the invention in an amorphic and non specific manner may not constitute prior publication. But if the details in an article or a physical product allows an average professional to create the invention then these are considered prior publications and prevent patent protection. top of page
Priority date The date in which the patent application was first filed in any one of the countries signed on the Paris treaty. An inventor will use the original priority date that was assigned to his initial patent application when filing in any other country which is part of the treaty. top of page
USPTO United States Patent & Trademark Office - This is the office that manages IP rights in the US. It manages patents, trademarks and designs. top of page
WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization - WIPO is one of 16 special agencies of the UN. This organization is used as the worlds IP manager. Its located in Geneva and it governs the 180 member countries. This organization and its country members approved 23 international treaties in various IP fields to date. One of these treaties is the PCT dealing with international patent protection applications. top of page