[Will always be under construction, but putting a tag up here for now until at least the most important issues are addressed and I add bullets without having the time to add the definition.]
One of my main drivers in starting this blog was to write at a level that assumes basic familiarity with patent law, but not expertise; someone who has taken a patent law class, but isn’t a practitioner. My other writing outlets are either geared to audiences who know nothing about patent law or probably know more than me, so finding a place to write without needing to explain every concept or have every thought extremely vetted is important.
In order to help newcomers understand some of the patent law topics addressed on this blog that I am taking for granted, this glossary highlights recurring phrases and issues that could otherwise be repeated in every post.
- Section 101, or sometimes just “101” – Shorthand for 35 U.S.C. § 101. This section defines the basic subject matter of patent. In it’s entirety, it reads: “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.” Despite the plain text, the Supreme Court has created exceptions to the categories created by statute. These exceptions, deemed patent ineligible, are (1) abstract ideas, (2) laws of nature and (3) natural phenomenon. What exactly falls into these exceptions and how the law of the exceptions is applied is an active area of discussion and the focus of this blog.
- Section 102 – Shorthand for 35 U.S.C. § 102. This section requires that the claimed invention be “novel.” In other words, the invention as a single whole cannot have been described before. Also, both prior to the AIA and after, this section defines what counts as “prior art,” or those items of information that can be used to show that the invention was known before.
- Section 103
- Section 112
- Section 112(a)
- Section 112(b)
- Section 112(f)
- Section 271