vendredi 18 septembre 2009
It seems to me that most people, as a general rule, don't like hearing about other people's dreams. Let's face it- your dreams are only really interesting and make sense to you.

Ex-boyfriend showed up at your work in a chicken suit?
Yeah, that means absolutely nothing to me.

But I think I probably have the most boring dreams in the world.

I dream about Patents.

Like I don't get enough of it from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm five to six days a week.
I really like my job, but it's like my brain is continuing to churn to try and figure out how all the laws and stuff fit together. At any one time I have a mixture of French, European, International, and US law bouncing around in my head, sometimes colliding into each other.

For example, what is the only country in the world that has a first-to-invent system instead of a first-to-file system? (ie the invention belongs to the first person to conceive of it instead of the first one to file for a patent)
No, for once France isn't being different just to be different. It's the United States (way to go USA. Like the whole imperial system vs. metric system isn't screwy enough)
So all these different systems have different laws, and how they mesh together can really do your head in.

And NO there is no such thing as a worldwide patent. Doesn't exist people. I'm still trying to convince my father-in-law of this. You can file an international patent application, but then it gets divided up into individual patent applications for the countries that you want. And just because you get a patent in one country, it doesn't mean squat in all the other countries.
And you haven't really lived until you have cried due to frustration over a patent for goodness sake.
All of this gets worse before exams.

Okay, first a little background before I explain a dream I had before the USPTO exam:
Once a patent application has been filed, it is (in most countries) examined in order to determine whether it is a) properly described and claimed b) new c) non-obvious and d) industrially applicable.

With me so far?
Okay, it gets more complicated. Actually, a lot more complicated, but I am trying not to bore all my readers away.

In the US, there are different statutes of prior-art material that can be used to show that the invention of the application is not new or obvious. For example, if it was published by another before the application was filed by the inventor. One of these is the

MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure) 102e:
If the invention was described in (1) an application for patent, published under section 122(b), by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent or (2) a patent granted on an application for patent by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent, except that an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) shall have the effects for the purposes of this subsection of an application filed in the United States only if the international application designated the United States and was published under Article 21(2) of such treaty in the English language.
for some examples, see
The Official Link

Asleep yet?

Okay, here is an actual dream of mine:
I was dreaming about different dates and different priority claims for a patent application, filed in various countries and languages, and trying to work out the applicable 102e date.
- Was it filed in the US before or after November 29, 2000 (the critical date)?
- Was it published in English by the World Intellectual Property Organization?
- Does it claim the priority of a foreign application filed before Nov. 29th?
- What is the earliest effective date?

That's it. Just dates and different facts and figures. Woohoo! Actually, it was studying the examples in the link above that got this into my head, so my subconscious was in overdrive with all the different options, published in English before Nov. 29th, not published in English and not designating the United States, etc.

So here is a challenge for anyone interested:

- An international patent application is filed in France in French on Nov. 6th 2000

- The patent application is published by the international bureau in French on May 6th 2002

- The patent application enters the US National Phase on May 6th 2003

- The patent application is granted on December 6th 2004

By what date is it applicable as prior art against another US patent application? Whoever gets it correctly will get their name in big glittery letters on my blog. And in order to win, you can't just pick a date and hope to get lucky. You have to say which example it is based on of the examples in the link above.

Pretty exciting huh? You too could be a super-cool Patent Agent!

6 commentaires:

Frou Frou a dit…

It is great you have something you genuinely love...

Anonyme a dit…

Megan honey, I'll let you figure that one out! Hope your dreams turn into something more interesting, like George Clooney needing private patent lessons.

Ashvatth a dit…

hey megan,
Enjoyed reading your blog. Are there jobs in France for a partially french speaking U.S patent agent in the software area?


Mwa a dit…

You are ever so slightly neurotic then? (So am I, but apparently not neurotic enough to do the problem.)

poppy fields a dit…

ZZZZZzzzzzzz :{ I couldn't read that, haven't had my coffee yet.

Megan a dit…

Hi. in response to comment re: software patents above, the European Patent Office does not allow software patents, so no, I don't think someone just able to do software patents would do well finding a job over here. This may change in the somewhat near future, but at the moment, software is not patentable as such.

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