Patent Glossary A.

Patent Glossary A.
What is abandonment, affidavit, amendment?


An inventor may decide to abandon a patent application that is pending in the patent office by not responding to communications from the patent office or by notifying the patent office that he or she officially abandons the application. Once an application is abandoned, patent office will no longer consider the application for patentability. An inventor may revive an abandoned application if he or she can satisfy the patent office that the abandonment was unintentional or unavoidable.
Reference- MPEP 711

abstract of the disclosure

A short description of the novel features of an invention. The abstract should be designed to allow a reader to determine quickly the subject matter of the patent application.
Reference - MPEP 608.01(b)

absolute novelty

A requirement of some patent offices (but not the USPTO) that public disclosure or sale of an invention anywhere in the world cannot occur prior to the filing of a valid patent application.


An official communication from a patent office, usually requiring some response by the applicant.
Reference- MPEP 707

active inducement to infringe

One may be held liable for patent infringement as a result of actively encouraging another to infringe if such other does infringe, even though the inducer has not made, used, sold, offered for sale, or imported the patented invention.
-- see MORE

admissions by applicant

A statement by an applicant for patent that can or is used to deny the patentability of an invention, in some cases regardless of whether the statement is true.
Reference- MPEP 2129

advisory action

An action advising an applicant of the status of an application, typically advising him/her that the amendment filed just prior to the mailing of the advisory action does not place the application in condition for allowance of the claims. See Action. 
Reference- MPEP 714.13


A written, sworn statement that includes facts in support of the patentability of an invention. Under U.S. rules, an affidavit or declaration under 37 CFR 1.131 is used to "swearing behind" a reference and an affidavit or declaration under 37 CFR 1.132 is used in traversing a rejection.
Reference - Affidavits


A ground for rejection of a patent claim that is based on a lack of cooperation among the elements of an invention. A rejection for aggregation is considered non-statutory.
Reference- MPEP 2173.05(k)

apparatus claim

This refers to a patent claim, which describes structurally a piece of equipment and is embraced by the expression "machine" in the definition of patentable subject matter in the U.S. Patent Statute.


Allowance is the term used by the patent office to indicate that a patent application is in a condition to become a granted patent.


Any change to a patent application that is pending in the patent office. Amendments are usually made in response to a communication from the patent office, but an inventor can submit a preliminary amendment before he or she receives any communication from the patent office. Amendments can not add information that was not part of the original patent application, but portions of the application may be deleted or rewritten and obvious errors corrected.


A reference that contains all of the elements of a claim is considered to anticipate the claim.

agent (patent)

An individual who has passed the US Patent Office Bar exam and is registered to practice (may be referred to as a practitioner or representative) - but who is not an attorney, therefore does not practice other aspects of law. A patent agent is authorized to act for or in place of applicants (inventors) before the US patent office. 
-- See 37 CFR ยง 10.6 and the searchable online Patent Attorney Agent Roster


American Intellectual Property Law Association


Inventor or joint inventors who are applying for a patent on their own invention, or the person mentioned in 37 CFR 1.42, 1.43 or 1.47 who is applying for a patent in place of the inventor.
Reference- MPEP 605

application number (patent)

The unique number assigned to a patent application when it is filed. The application number includes a two digit series code and a six digit serial number.

Application (for Patent)

A document describing a claimed invention and requesting that a patent on the claimed invention be granted to an applicant. In the U.S., an application must include a specification and a drawing (if required to understand the invention). A regular U.S. patent application must also include at least one claim and it must be accompanied by an oath and a fee. In addition to a specification and a fee, a provisional U.S. patent application must be accompanied by a cover sheet and a fee.
Reference- MPEP 601

Application, Continuation

A subsequent application for the same invention disclosed in a prior (regular or nonprovisional) application that is filed before the original application becomes abandoned or patented. Also called a continuing application.
Reference - MPEP 201.07(b)

Application, Continuation-in-Part

An application by the same applicant repeating a substantial portion or all of an earlier (regular or nonprovisional) application and adding matter not disclosed in the original application that is filed before the original application becomes abandoned or patented. Also called a CIP.
MPEP 201.08.

Application, Divisional

A later application "carved out of" an earlier application for an invention that is disclosed in the earlier application but that is distinct or independent from the invention claimed in the earlier application that is filed before the earlier application becomes abandoned or patented. Also known as a division.
MPEP 201.06.

Application Series

A grouping of application serial numbers (the last six digits of the application number) having the same series code.
MPEP 503.

Art Unit

A subunit of a patent examining group. Also called Group Art Unit.
MPEP 502.

Article of Manufacture

A product, a physical thing. There is no clear difference between an article of manufacture and a machine. Under U.S. law, one of the statutory classes of inventions.
MPEP 2105, MPEP 2106, MPEP 2114.


To assert a patent is to attempt to enforce it. To attempt to prevent an unlicensed party from practicing an invention.


A recipient of an ownership right in a patent application, patent or interest in a patent application or patent.
MPEP 301.


A transfer by a party (the assignor) of all or part of its right, title and interest in a patent or patent application to another party (the assignee). In this regard, patents have the attributes of personal property.
MPEP 301.


The entity that transfers an ownership right in a patent application, patent or interest in a patent application or patent.
MPEP 301.Links



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