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Archived updates for Thursday, December 09, 2004

Steps for Avoiding Patent Interferences

According to an article in the Winter 2004 issue of MBHB's Snippets, U.S. patent applicants have one year from the publication date of an earlier filed patent application in which to provoke an intereference with that application. If an interfering claim is not included in the later application within the one year period, then the Applicant of a later filed application is effectively barred from attempting to provoke an interference against the offending application and resulting patent.

The article discusses several steps you can take to to limit your competitors’ ability to provoke interferences based on your patent applications and to ensure that your competitors do not catch you off guard:
  • obtain an early priority date for each new invention by filing provisional applications covering new inventions at an early stage in their development.
  • request early publication of a patent applications under 37 CFR § 1.219.
  • monitor published U.S. and PCT patent applications.

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