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Patents

It is recommended that an attorney be consulted when an interpretation of the law is needed. UCF library staff are not able to provide any legal advice. Patent Assistance Information

Patents

The vocabulary with patents and patent  searching is unique.  The following terms will help you to understand the terminology associated with the patent process.  For a complete list of terms and definitions visit the USPTO - Glossary,

• A patent is a property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.
 
 • Utility: Issued for the invention of a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof, it generally permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for a period of up to twenty years from the date of patent application filing, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. Approximately 90% of the patent documents issued by the USPTO in recent years have been utility patents, also referred to as "patents for invention."
 
 • Design Patent: Issued for a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture, it permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the design for a period of fourteen years from the date of patent grant. The design patent protects only the appearance of an article, but not its structural or functional features.  Design patents are not subject to the payment of maintenance fees.
 
 Plant: Issued for a new and distinct, invented or discovered asexually reproduced plant including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber-propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, it permits its owner  to exclude others from making, using, or selling the plant for a period of twenty years from the date of patent application filing. Plant patents are also not subject to the payment of maintenance fees, and may not be applied for via EFS-Web..

Applications

 • A provisional application for patent is a U. S. national application for patent filed in the USPTO under 35 U.S.C. § 111(b) . It allows filing without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement. It provides the means to establish an early effective filing date in a later-filed non-provisional patent application filed under 35 U.S.C. § 111(a). It also allows the term "Patent Pending" to be applied in connection with the description of the invention.

    Provisional application for patent (provisional application) has a pendency lasting 12 months from the date the provisional application is filed.

   The 12-month pendency period cannot be extended. Therefore, an applicant who files a provisional application must file a corresponding non-provisional application for patent (non-provisional application) during the 12-month pendency period of the provisional application in order to benefit from the earlier filing of the provisional application.

   In accordance with 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) , the corresponding non-provisional application must contain or be amended to contain a specific reference to the provisional application within the time period and in the manner required by 37 CFR 1.78.

 • The Nonprovisional Application establishes the filing date and initiates the examination process. A nonprovisional utility patent application must include a specification, including a claim or claims; drawings, when necessary; an oath or declaration; and the prescribed filing fee.