Expert Tips on Patent Translation: Reasons for Rejection

Intellectual Property Legal Terminology - Reasons for Rejection



When a patent is filed, it undergoes examination by a patent examiner to ensure it meets the necessary patent requirements. During this process, if any reasons for rejection are identified, the applicant will receive a notice of opinion submission. This notice serves as an alert to the potential rejection of the filed patent and guides the applicant on necessary actions to address the issues.

The reasons for rejection are typically categorized into two types: the ‘First Notice of Rejection’ and the ‘Final Notice of Rejection.’ In this article, we will explore the primary reasons for patent rejection and how to address them.

Inadequate Description (Patent Act Article 42, Paragraph 4)

Inadequate description refers to instances where the invention is complete, but the patent application fails to meet the required description standards at the time of filing, resulting in patent rejection. This does not imply the invention itself is incomplete; rather, it indicates the application did not adequately describe the technology to be patented. The patent claims must be supported by the description of the invention and must be clear and concise to meet the required standards.

Inventive Step (Patent Act Article 29, Paragraph 2)

The inventive step criterion is not met if the invention could be easily conceived by a person skilled in the art based on prior inventions. This lack of inventive step (also known as non-obviousness) results in patent rejection. The invention must demonstrate a level of creativity that is not obvious to someone with ordinary skill in the relevant technical field. The determination of whether an invention has an inventive step involves evaluating the purpose, structure, and effect of the invention and whether a person skilled in the art could easily deduce the invention from prior technology.

Novelty (Patent Act Article 29, Paragraph 1)

Novelty refers to the requirement that the invention must not have been publicly known before the patent application was filed. If the invention was disclosed to the public domestically or internationally, either through publication or public use, it lacks novelty and is therefore not patentable. Specifically, the invention must not have been known or used publicly in the country or abroad before the filing date, nor published in a document or accessible through telecommunications networks.

Industrial Applicability (Patent Act Article 29, Paragraph 1)

Industrial applicability means that the invention must be useful for industrial purposes. The ultimate goal of patent law is to promote technological advancement and contribute to industrial development. Thus, an invention must be capable of being used in industry immediately or in the future to meet this requirement.

Addressing Reasons for Rejection

In response to these reasons for rejection, applicants can request a re-examination by amending the specification or drawings. For international clients, this process often requires the translation of the opinion submission notice and the amended specification. It is crucial to translate the opinion submission notice clearly and concisely, ensuring that the reasons for the rejection are easily understood by the client. This allows the client to grasp the issues quickly and take necessary corrective actions.

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