Prior-art documents play a significant role in the IDS filing procedure. Under U.S patent law it is must for each patent applicant to disclose to the USPTO any known prior-art documents. Also, the documents’ material can be material to the invention being claimed in the application. The duty is only applicable to the familiar prior art references. So, the applicant does not own the responsibility for the prior art search. But, any prior art references which are not in a patent search ought to be disclosed.
Prior-Art Documents Disclosure
This responsibility belongs to each inventor, patent attorney/agent/firms, and the assignee (if any). The prior art document of the information disclosure system includes not only patent literature (published patent applications and U.S. and foreign patents) but also non-patent literature. The non-patent literature includes printed publications such as website media, different literature types such as marketing and sales material. However, disclosure duty must not be only to the U.S. documents, but also to any other foreign country references.
If a patent application is in the mid because of the on-going duty process, it is obvious for an applicant to file many IDS statements via prosecution course of the application as new uncovered prior art references. It may occur in the case when prior art is cited in foreign application or PCT.
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