Author: John Meeks

PatBar AIA QotW April 23, 2018

A company from England, AJAX, developed an invention including a surface treatment that was necessary to the satisfactory performance of the invention. In discussions with their legal staff relating to the filing of a patent application in the U.S., the company decided to maintain their surface treatment technology as a trade secret. On September 16, 2012, a patent application was filed in the USPTO without any reference to the surface treatment.

I. During the above discussions, one of the inventors stated that based on the new law under the AIA there is no requirement to disclose the best mode in an application.

II. At that time one of the legal staff stated that the AIA did not change the requirement that a patent application must set forth the best mode of carrying out the invention.

(A) Only the first statement is correct.
(B) Only the second statement is correct.
(C) Both statements are correct.
(D) Neither statement is correct.
(E) The Question is ambiguous.

 

 

ANSWER: (B). See MPEP 2165 (including the examples in MPEP 2165.04, subsection II):

“A third requirement of 35 U.S.C. 112(a) (applicable to applications filed on or after September 16, 2012) is that:

The specification … shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor or joint inventor of carrying out the invention.”

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Questions prepared by David E. Meeks, Esq. © 2017 Institute for Patent Studies, Inc. All rights reserved.

PatBar AIA QotW April 16, 2018

Which of the following is true?

(A) The AIA defines the term “claimed invention” as the subject matter defined by a claim in a patent or an application for patent.
(B) The AIA defines the term “effective filing date” for a claimed invention in a patent or application for patent (other than a reissue application or a reissued patent) as meaning the earlier of the actual filing date of the patent or the application for the patent containing the claimed invention, or the filing date of the earliest provisional, nonprovisional, international (PCT) or foreign patent application to which the patent or application is entitled to benefit or priority as to such claimed invention.
(C) The AIA defines the term “inventor” as the individual or, if a joint invention, the individuals collectively who invented or discovered the subject matter of the invention, and defines the term “joint inventor” or “co-inventor” as any one of the individuals who invented or discovered the subject matter of a joint invention.
(D) (A), (B) and (C)
(E) (B) and (C)

 

 

ANSWER: (D). See MPEP 2151, second paragraph, and 35 U.S.C. 100.

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Questions prepared by David E. Meeks, Esq. © 2017 Institute for Patent Studies, Inc. All rights reserved.

PatBar AIA QotW April 9, 2018

Which of the following is true?

(A) AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1) provides that a person is not entitled to a patent if the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.
(B) AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) provides that a person is not entitled to a patent if the claimed invention was described in an issued patent, or in a patent application publication, in which the patent or application names another inventor, and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.
(C) AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b) sets forth exceptions to prior art established in AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a).
(D) AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(1) sets forth exceptions to prior art established in AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1), and AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2) sets forth exceptions to prior art established in AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2).
(E) All of the above are true.

 

 

ANSWER: (E). See MPEP 2151, first paragraph.

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Questions prepared by David E. Meeks, Esq. © 2017 Institute for Patent Studies, Inc. All rights reserved.

PatBar AIA QotW April 2, 2018

Which of the following is false?

(A) The changes to 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 in the AIA do not apply to any application filed before March 16, 2013.
(B) Pre-AIA prior art is applied to all applications filed on or after March 16, 2013.
(C) If a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) is filed on or after March 16, 2013, in an application that was filed before March 16, 2013, the application remains subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103.
(D) Submission of an amendment including a claim that includes new matter on or after March 16, 2013, does not affect an application’s status as a pre-AIA application.
(E) Applications filed on or after March 16, 2013, are also subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 if the application has never contained a claim with an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, and has never claimed the benefit of an application that has ever contained such a claim.

 

 

ANSWER: (B). See MPEP 2150.

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Questions prepared by David E. Meeks, Esq. © 2017 Institute for Patent Studies, Inc. All rights reserved.

PatBar AIA QotW March 26, 2018

Ralph, a patent agent, works with several small tech companies that must rely on financing to grow their organization. In some cases a financier wants to review patent applications that have been filed in the USPTO. Ralph has some situations where getting an application on file within a few hours may be important. What should Ralph do?

(A) Since the company has filed a foreign application on the invention, Ralph may file a U.S. application including an ADS and indicating that the specification and drawings are replaced by reference to the previously filed application.
(B) Draft a specification and file it electronically.
(C) Draft a specification and file it electronically along with many black-and-white photographs of the invention.
(D) All of the above may be appropriate.
(E) None of the above is true.

 

 

ANSWER: (D).

If there is a foreign application, answer (A) would probably be the best choice.

If there are no prior applications and drawings are probably not necessary for an understanding of the invention, answer (B) would probably be the best choice.

If there are no prior applications and drawings are probably necessary, answer (C) would be the best choice. Submitting black-and-white photographs (instead of drawings) speeds up the process immensely.

See MPEP 601.01(a), subsection III and 37 CFR 1.57(a):

“(a) Subject to the conditions and requirements of this paragraph, a reference made in the English language in an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76 upon the filing of an application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) to a previously filed application, indicating that the specification and any drawings of the application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) are replaced by the reference to the previously filed application, and specifying the previously filed application by application number, filing date, and the intellectual property authority or country in which the previously filed application was filed, shall constitute the specification and any drawings of the application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) for purposes of a filing date under § 1.53(b).”

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Questions prepared by David E. Meeks, Esq. © 2017 Institute for Patent Studies, Inc. All rights reserved.

FAQ: Review Courses and Current Exam Questions

“Some Patent Bar Review courses claim to have new, actual exam questions. How is this possible?”—D. H., Alexandria, VA

It’s not.

Shortly before the implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) stopped releasing data specific to the Patent Bar Exam. In addition, people taking the Exam are now required to sign a non-disclosure agreement outlining severe penalties for anyone failing to abide by the agreement. This includes the release of Exam questions.

The same is true for any Review course. Any course attempting to cull new questions directly from the Exam faces penalties that may include severe financial loss or the immediate closure of their businesses.

More likely, these companies are being less than forthcoming about what constitutes “actual exam questions”.

Only PatBar® offers its students new questions written by Program Director David Meeks and based on his 25-plus years of experience in training his students to pass the Patent Bar Exam. PatBar® provides an exclusive, insider’s view of the questions you will see on Exam day, along with David’s tested lookup strategies to help you find—and find quickly—the answers to any questions you don’t recognize.

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Patent Practitioner Retirement Rate Calculated

A patent attorney who tracks trends for International IP Law Group has calculated the retirement rate of patent practitioners, each a potential employment opportunity.

Research by Zachary Kinnaird shows that approximately 15% of patent practitioners leave the field after 20 years of practice. Based on removals from the Patent and Trademark Office roster, Kinnaird further calculates the annual rate of retirement at about two percent.

Each of these retirements represents a potential job opening, presuming the retiree’s position is not “filled” by attrition. Coupled with newly available positions, the data would seem to suggest that employment prospects are good for those newly registered to practice before the USPTO.

Read Kinnaird’s analysis here.