Patent Glossary E

Patent Glossary E is for the letter E. For instance enablement or the European Patent Office.


Effective Date

The date as of which a reference is available as "prior art" in determining the patentability of an invention. The Effective Date of a reference usually something different from the Effective Filing Date of a patent application. MPEP 2126, MPEP 2126.01, MPEP 2128, MPEP 2128.02


The choice by the applicant of the invention to be prosecuted and, hence, the claims to be examined. MPEP 818, MPEP 809.02(a), MPEP 809.02(b), MPEP 818.03(b).

Element of Claim

A (usually indented) portion of the body of a patent claim that describes a feature of an invention and that interrelates the feature with the other features of the invention. MPEP 608.01(m).


One (generally of many possible) concrete (physical) form of an invention as described in a patent application or patent.


Support within a disclosure of a claimed invention. Enablement occurs when a person skilled in th art to which the invention pertains is taught how to make and how to use an invention. MPEP 2164, MPEP 2164.01.


Direct or impose by court order.


See European Patent Convention.


Equal under patent law. MPEP 904.01(b), MPEP 2144.06, MPEP 2183.

European Patent Convention

An agreement among European nations that establishes a regional, European patent system.


Review of a patent application to determine if a claimed invention is patentable. MPEP Introduction.


An official of a patent office charged with determining the patentability of inventions claimed in patent applications.

Examiner's Action

A written communication from a patent Examiner that contains requirements and/or documents the reasons behind the Examiner's patentability decisions and usually sets a time for response by the applicant. MPEP 707.

Examining Group

See Art Unit.


An example of one embodiment (implementation) of an invention. If the example is an actual ("working") example, i.e., an example of work actually done, it is described in the past tense. If it is a prophetical example, or if simulated or predicted test results are presented, the present tense is used. MPEP 608.01(p), MPEP 2164.02.


With reference to a patent application, to sign an oath or declaration. MPEP 601.04, MPEP 602.01


A physical embodiment of an invention; a model or specimen. MPEP 608.03, MPEP 608.03(a).

Ex Parte

A legal proceeding with no adversary, as in a normal patent prosecution.

Experimental Use

A public use of the invention that having the primary purpose is of testing of the invention. Experimental use is allowed in the U.S. and Japan (for a short period) but not in most jurisdictions. MPEP 2133.03(e), MPEP 2133.03(e)(4), MPEP 2133.03(e)(6).

Expiry Date

The date when a patent has run its full term and the invention is no longer protected by it.

Extension of Time

An extension of the "period for response" stipulated in an Office action. MPEP 710.02(e).


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