Applying for a patent is tedious work, and learning that your patent has been rejected can be a crushing experience. However, even if your patent application is denied, there are still steps you can take to fight for your patent.
Prior to Application
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) handles all patent applications in the U.S., and it receives a high volume of patent applications throughout the year. In order to reduce your chances of having your patent rejected, it is important to ensure that you have conducted sufficient research pertaining to whether your invention is patentable and to verify that no one else has patented a similar invention.
Why Was Your Patent Denied?
Understanding the common reasons why patents are denied can also help guide you as you undertake the next logical steps. These criteria may seem subjective, but they are what the USPTO uses to determine if a patent is applicable or not. Patents that feature inventions that are not novel are rejected; this is why you should be sure to conduct enough research before applying. Inventions that are obvious are also rejected; they must display some inventiveness in order to be accepted. The last criteria used by the USPTO relates to the application itself; technical errors (such as information related to the invention) and informalities (like grammatical mistakes) can also contribute to a patent being rejected.
In some cases, patent applications are also considered to be too broad; applicants may try to cover as much ground as possible with their patent application, but the USPTO may determine that the patent is not valid because of this.
What to Do Upon Rejection
If you believe the USPTO wrongly denied your patent, you can appeal their decision or file a continuity application. Either way, it is advised that you consult a lawyer as you undertake this task to ensure that you are following the proper procedure and also to get a second set of eyes on your patent application.
Obtaining a patent may come down to negotiation and debate. Patent applicants should be prepared to revise their application and provide a more tailored description of their invention as well as a justification for why this invention is novel, unique, and better than any similar inventions. Applying for a patent takes time, and often, only those who are willing to fight for their ideas will be accepted.